'new era' | 

Finland announce intention to apply for Nato membership

The country’s leaders made the decision amid the war in Ukraine.
Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement on Sunday (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtiuva via AP)

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement on Sunday (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtiuva via AP)

By Associated Press

Finland’s president and government have announced the Nordic country intends to apply for membership of Nato, paving the way for the 30-member Western military alliance to expand amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement at a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on Sunday.

Finland, which shares a long border with Russia, has previously been a neutral country.

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto described it has a ‘historic day’ (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtiuva via AP)

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto described it has a ‘historic day’ (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtiuva via AP)

Mr Niinisto said: “This is a historic day. A new era begins.”

The Finnish Parliament is expected to endorse the decision in coming days, but it is considered a formality.

A formal membership application will then be submitted to Nato headquarters in Brussels, most likely at some point next week.


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