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Finland will apply for NATO membership, president says, in historic move for traditionally neutral country

Finland will apply for membership in 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 alongside Prime Minister Sanna Marin, President Sauli Niinisto said: “Today, we, the president and the government’s foreign policy committee, have together decided that Finland … will apply for NATO membership.”

He added that being a member of the military alliance will “maximize” Finland’s security after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February.

Marin described that move to apply as an “important decision” based on a “strong mandate.”

“We hope that the parliament will confirm the decision to apply for NATO membership during the coming days,” she added. The formal application is expected to be submitted next week.

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