Finland will apply for NATO membership, president says

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Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

Frank Augstein | Reuters

Finland will apply for membership of NATO, the country’s president said Sunday, in a historic move for the Nordic country, which has had a decades-long policy of military neutrality.

In a press conference, President Sauli Niinisto said membership of NATO will “maximize” Finland’s security after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February.

It comes after Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin last week said the country should apply to join NATO “without delay.”

Finland shares an 830-mile border with Russia; if it joins the military alliance, the land border that Russia shares with NATO territories would roughly double.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated shortly.

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