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Finland calls for NATO membership ‘without delay’

Russia Ukraine WarFinland calls for NATO membership ‘without delay’

Helsinki (The Times Groupe)- Finland’s leaders said Thursday they are in favor of applying for NATO membership as soon as possible, which could deal a serious blow to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s announcement means that Finland is all but certain to join the Western military alliance, though a few steps remain before applications can be submitted. Within the next few days, neighboring Sweden is expected to decide whether to join NATO.

Membership in NATO would help strengthen Finland’s security. NATO membership would strengthen the entire defense alliance,” Niinisto and Marin said in a joint statement.

“Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” they said. “We hope the steps remaining to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”

Russian Foreign Ministry warned that Finland joining NATO would harm Russian-Finnish relations and the stability and security of Northern Europe.

“Russia will have to take retaliatory measures of military, technical, and other characteristics to counter threats to its national security,” the ministry said.

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