Finland will seek NATO membership: leaders

May 13, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 05:41 am IST

That would represent a major shift in Europe’s security landscape: Sweden has avoided military alliances for more than 200 years, while Finland adopted neutrality after its defeat by the Soviets in World War II.

Such an expansion of the alliance would leave Russia surrounded by NATO countries in the Baltic Sea and the Arctic and would amount to a stinging setback for Mr. Putin, who had hoped to divide and roll back NATO in Europe but is instead seeing the exact opposite happen. Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned that the country “will be forced to take retaliatory steps of military-technical and other characteristics to counter the emerging threats to its national security.”

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