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All eyes are on Putin as Finland officially applies to join NATO

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Heikki Saukkoma/REX/Shutterstock (12940783t) Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinisto attend the joint press conference on Finland's security policy decisions at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland on May 15, 2022 Finland will apply for NATO membership. Press conference of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister of Finland on Finland's security policy decisions, Helsinki - 15 May 2022

Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin and President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinisto confirmed the news today (Image: Heikki Saukkomaa/REX/Shutterstock)

Despite increasing threats, Finland has officially announced that it will join NATO Russia.

The Kremlin had previously warned the possible move was “definitely” a threat that would be met with “retaliation.”

The Finnish President and the Committee of Ministers today officially agreed to join NATO.

A draft report to be submitted to the country’s government has been released detailing the decision.

It states: “By joining NATO, Finland would strengthen its own security in the changed operating environment.

“Finland’s membership in NATO would strengthen stability and security in the Baltic Sea region and Northern Europe.”

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

“This is a historic day. A new era is beginning,” said Mr. Niinisto.

Speculations about Finland joining NATO have been piling up for weeks (Image: Getty Images)

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Finland's President Sauli Niinisto arrive for a joint news conference on Finland's security policy decisions at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland May 15, 2022. Heikki Saukkoma/ Lehtikuva/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY . NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY PROVIDERS. FINLAND OFF. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALE IN FINLAND.

Politicians and public perception changed after the invasion of Ukraine (Image: Reuters)

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

A formal application for membership is expected to be submitted to NATO headquarters in Brussels next week.

The Nordic nation that shares a long border with Russia was never a member of the Cold War Defense Alliance.

But the invasion of Ukraine paved the way for new thinking.

The report adds: “Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a fundamental change has taken place in the security and operational environment of Finland and Europe.”

On Saturday, a Russian state-owned energy company suspended electricity supplies to Finland amid rising tensions.

And on Thursday, Russia’s ambassador to the EU said there would be a “military and technical” response to Finland’s NATO entry.

He told Sky News he was “deeply disappointed” in the Nordic state.

He added that Finland “has surpassed itself and has become a major power in promoting the European security architecture in recent decades.”

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/15/all-eyes-on-putin-as-finland-formally-applies-to-join-nato-16646725/ All eyes are on Putin as Finland officially applies to join NATO

Justin Scacco

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