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    FINLAND has confirmed it will be applying for NATO membership despite warnings from Russia that it could nuke the country in "ten seconds". The move comes in defiance of Moscow's threat after Vladimir Putin yesterday told the Finnish president joining the Western alliance would be a "mistake". 3Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President Sauli Niinisto have confirmed the country will be applying to join NATOCredit: AP 3Finland has remained militarily non-aligned for 75 yearsCredit: AP Finland's President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday they both favoured NATO membership, in a major policy shift prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia, which shares an 830-mile border with Finland, has said it Helsinki joining the transatlantic alliance would harm bilateral ties. Niinisto said: "Today, the President of the Republic and the Government's Foreign Policy Committee have jointly agreed that "Finland will apply for NATO membership, after consulting parliament. This is a historic day. A new era is opening." Read more on FinlandPUTIN’S FINNISH-ED Finns & Swedes to join Nato ‘in MONTHS’ after historic UK security pactON THE...
    (AFP) — Finland on Saturday sought to allay Moscow’s fears about its bid to join NATO, as fierce fighting raged in Ukraine’s east, slowing down a hoped-for Russian advance. Wives and parents of Ukrainian fighters trapped in the bowels of a besieged steel plant in the country’s south meanwhile made a desperate appeal to China to help secure their release. And the G7 vowed to further turn the screw on the Kremlin with fresh sanctions, pledging never to recognise the borders it was attempting to redraw through destructive force. One of Europe’s fiercest conflicts since World War II has seen more than six million people flee for their lives, and according to Kyiv has caused an estimated $90 billion in damage to civilian infrastructure. One senior Ukrainian general predicted a turning point in the months ahead, and that the fighting could be over by the end of the year. In Turin, Italy, a world away from the fighting, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra is the bookmakers’ favourite to triumph at the world’s biggest live music event — the Eurovision Song Contest —...
    The Finnish President told Vladimir Putin his country will join NATO in a 'direct and straightforward' phone call this morning. Sauli Niinistö said the conversation was 'conducted without aggravations' as both parties worked to 'avoid tensions'. The discussion came as Russia cut off electricity supplies to the country and a Putin lackey boasted that the Kremlin could destroy Finland in 'ten seconds'. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö (pictured at a press conference last week) initiated the call A readout from the Finnish President's Office stated: 'President Niinistö announced that Finland decides to seek NATO membership in the next few days.' Russia's invasion of Ukraine and cyber-attacks on Finland and Sweden have 'altered the security environment' in Helsinki, Putin was told. It wasn't revealed how long the call went on or whether Niinisto had consulted other world leaders before speaking to Putin.  President Niinistö reportedly reminded the Kremlin leader that they agreed every independent nation maximise its security during their first meeting in 2012. 'This is what is happening now, too', Niinistö said. Putin (pictured during a Security Council meeting on Friday) stayed calm, Helsinki...
    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Kremlin warned about taking retaliatory “military-technical” steps after Finland’s leaders came out in favor of applying to join NATO, and Sweden could do the same within days, in a historic realignment triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the first war-crimes trial of a Russian soldier since the start of the conflict was set to open Friday in Kyiv. A 21-year-old captured member of a tank unit is accused of shooting to death a civilian during the opening week of the war. On the ground, Russian forces pounded areas in central, northern and eastern Ukraine, including the last pocket of resistance in Mariupol, as part their offensive to take the industrial Donbas region, while Ukraine recaptured some towns and villages in the northeast. Two and a half months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent a shiver of fear through Moscow’s neighbors, Finland’s president and prime minister announced Thursday that the Nordic country should apply right away for membership in NATO, the military defense pact founded in part to counter the Soviet Union. “You (Russia) caused...
    Russian state TV has accused the US of erecting a 'new iron curtain' in Europe in a furious response to Finland announcing its intention to join NATO, as the Kremlin's spokesman it will make the world less 'stable.' This morning, president Sauli Niinisto and prime minister Sanna Marin said they want to join the security alliance 'without delay', with Sweden set to follow suit within days, drastically ramping up tensions between Russia and the West.  A senior Russian leader and the Kremlin had previously threatened it would secure 'the entire destruction' of the country' and 'the most undesirable consequences', and today said it would 'be forced to take retaliatory steps', both 'military-technical and other' against the 'threat'. 'As we have said many times before, NATO expansion does not make the world more stable and secure,' said Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, one of the country's top officials who fall under U.S. and European sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He was coy about how Russia would respond. 'It will depend on what this expansion process will entail, how far and how...
    FINLAND and Sweden are set to join Nato "in months", diplomats say, doubling the alliance's border with Russia. The Nordic countries are expected to apply for a fast-tracked membership in the coming days, diplomats and officials have said. 5Historically neutral Finland and Sweden are expected to apply for Nato membership in the coming days 5Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to be enraged by the move Speaking with Reuters, they said that during the one-year ratification process, allied troops would increase in the region and that there would be more military exercises and naval patrols in the Baltic Sea and a rotation with US and Brit forces. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto is expected to announce his country's bid for Nato membership today. Sweden is also expected to announce its bid on Sunday, overturning decades of opposition to Nato membership. The move is expected to enrage Russia, which shares a 810-mile (1,300km) border with Finland. Read more on Finland and SwedenON THE WARPATH Putin's NATO warning as other countries could face 'military consequences'BRIEF ENCOUNTER Putin seen with ‘secret nuke briefcase’ as...
    Russia has warned NATO that if Sweden and Finland joined the military alliance then the Kremlin would have to bolster its nuclear defences in the Baltic. 'There can be no more talk of any nuclear-free status for the Baltic - the balance must be restored,' said Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council. 'Naturally, we will have to reinforce these borders. Until today, Russia has not taken such measures and was not going to. If our hand is forced well... take note it wasn't us who proposed this.' The former president added Russia would 'seriously reinforce its group of ground forces and air defences and deploy significant naval forces in the Gulf of Finland.'  The threat comes after Sweden and Finland edged closer to NATO membership yesterday, and their application bids could be submitted in weeks. Sweden's prime minister Magdalena Andersson is understood to be eager for the country to join the trans-Atlantic alliance by June, to the fury of Vladimir Putin who invaded Ukraine in part for its desire to join to the pact. Russia has warned NATO...
    Sweden is on the verge of applying for NATO membership after its Scandinavian neighbour Finland said it would open a debate on joining the security alliance.  Sweden's prime minister Magdalena Andersson is understood to be eager for the country to join the trans-Atlantic alliance by June, to the fury of Vladimir Putin who invaded Ukraine in part for its desire to join to the pact. The application is expected to be submitted by the NATO meeting in Madrid on June 29-20 despite Kremlin threats of 'destruction', Swedish reports say. Similarly, Finland is hoping to start its application process 'within weeks, not within months', with a decision expected soon on the country's security. A Finnish government report released today that examines the 'fundamentally changed' security environment will now make its way through parliament, followed by a debate next week, and is expected to form the basis of their decision.   Today, Andersson hosted her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in Stockholm for a meeting on their prospective memberships of the alliance. Marin said: 'There are different perspectives to apply (for) NATO membership or not to...
    Russian heavy weapons including missile systems have been seen moving towards the border with Finland, hours after Russia warned its northern neighbour against joining NATO. An unconfirmed video uploaded last night appears to show two Russian coastal defence missile systems moving along a road on the Russian side of the border that leads to Helsinki.  The missile systems are thought to be the K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence system, designed to take out surface ships up to and including aircraft carrier battle groups.  The Russian deployment comes as Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she expects her government 'will end the discussion before midsummer' on whether to apply for NATO membership.  Recent opinions polls by a Finnish market research company put 84% of Finns as viewing Russia as a 'significant military threat', up by 25% on last year. In response, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov euphemistically warned the move would 'not improve' the security situation in Europe, and Moscow lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov added more bluntly it would mean 'the destruction of the country'. 'We have repeatedly said that the alliance remains a tool...
    BEIJING (AP) — As players gathered at their respective blue lines to honor their opponents following the game, Michelle Karvinen of Finland immediately noticed Japan captain Chiho Osawa growing emotional across the way. Karvinen for a moment put aside the joy of Finland advancing to the Olympic women’s hockey semifinals after a 7-1 win Saturday that eliminated Japan. She led a group of teammates through the neutral zone to console Osawa, whom the Finns have come to know and respect while playing with her for Lulea of the Swedish league the past three years. “Seeing her like that on the blue line really took me in the heart,” Karvinen said. “So as soon as I saw it, as soon as we said thanks for the game, I wanted to go and just give her a big hug.” One by one, six Finns skated over before they did a group hug, which nearly smothered Osawa along the boards near the penalty box. Some tapped the captain on the head, Ronja Savolainen wrapped her arm around Osawa’s neck and everyone made sure...
    Health authorities in Finland have admitted they have been forced to call back unvaccinated nurses due to worker shortages a week after Finland banned the unjabbed from frontline roles in healthcare. Last week, Finland’s amendment to its Communicable Diseases Act that banned unvaccinated healthcare workers from jobs requiring interaction with patients and customers came into effect, but some health authorities say they are forced to call back unvaccinated professionals as they faced “great” staff shortages. The South Karelia Social and Health Care District (Eksote) health authority stated that it has had to call back some unvaccinated workers due to staffing issues. “For special reasons, unvaccinated carers have had to be kept in work in some units because the staff shortage is so great. But there are also units where the unvaccinated do not continue working,” Eksote Director of Functional Capacity and Care Services Anu Koivumäki told broadcaster YLE. Administrator Maijaterttu Tiainen of the municipal authority Sosteri in the hospital district of Itä-Savo, also noted that unvaccinated nurses had been called back to work. Finlands Prime Minister Sanna Marin has announced that the country will be...
    U.S. women’s hockey star Brianna Decker was stretchered off the ice on Thursday after suffering an apparent severe leg injury in the team’s opening game at the Beijing Olympics. Becker screamed in pain following a trip from Finland’s Ronja Savolainen in the first period. Savolainen hooked her leg around Decker’s leg and the two fell to the ice. The Finnish player landed on Decker. LIVE UPDATES: WINTER OLYMPICS The United States' Brianna Decker (14) lies on the ice after colliding with Finland's Ronja Savolainen (88) during a preliminary round women's hockey game at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) The 30-year-old Decker was unable to put any pressure on her leg. USA Hockey said Decker would be out for the remainder of the Olympics. The Olympic forward was the star player for Wisconsin and was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2012, which is given to the best player in Division I women’s hockey. She then played in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and the National Women’s Hockey League. The...
    Finland and Sweden are 'closer than ever' to joing Nato after Russian threats backfired. Vladimir Putin's demands that the US ban the Nordic nations from the alliance has made their joining more likely in the wake of heightened tensions around Russian troops along the border with Ukraine. Sweden and Finland have been unaligned with a major military power since the Cold War but Russian rhetoric over an invasion of Ukraine has pushed them closer to Nato. A Finnish MP told the Telegraph that the country - which borders Russia - was closer to joining the alliance after Russian aggression. Nato is an alliance of 27 nations formed in 1947 in the wake of fears over a potential war with the Soviet Union in the wake of the Second World War. Vladimir Putin's demands over Nato membership has backfired in a time of heightened tensions over a potential invasion of Ukraine Nato officials believe that the countries admission to the alliance would be relatively straightforward due to the Nordic nations already meeting many of the criteria for membership.  US secretary of...
    (CNN)Danish footballer Christian Eriksen says his goal is to play at this year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar after recovering from the cardiac arrest he experienced last year at Euro 2020. Eriksen collapsed during Denmark's game against Finland in Copenhagen last June and received life-saving treatment on the pitch.Following the incident, he was treated in hospital and fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) device, a type of pacemaker intended to prevent fatal cardiac arrests by discharging a jolt to restore regular heart rhythm.He now says that his heart is "not an obstacle" when it comes to his ambitions to return to football. "My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar. I want to play. That's been my mindset all along," Eriksen said in an interview with Danish broadcaster DR1.Read More"It's a goal, a dream. Whether I'll be picked is another thing. But it's my dream to come back. I'm sure I can come back because I don't feel any different. Physically, I'm back in top shape."Eriksen is currently without a club but is targeting a return...
    WITH worries of a New Year lockdown looming over us, many Brits aren't feeling that festive at the moment. But Christmas is just two days away and Britain's biggest family, the Radfords, have recently been on a trip to Lapland AND have now visited Santa’s grotto. 4Mum-of-22 Sue and her husband Noel took their kids to visit Santa's grottoCredit: The Radford Family Mum-of-22 Sue and husband Noel took some of their enormous brood to Finland in a pre-Christmas trip and got back to the UK just days ago. And for their next Christmas celebration, Sue took her family to visit Santa’s grotto back in the UK. Sue, 46, has a whopping 315k YouTube subscribers and her latest video shows her and her brood going to visit Santa’s grotto. Sue said: “We are going to see Santa today. “We’re at Mrs Dowson’s Farm. “Very exciting.” Most read in LifestyleBITTER BLOW Queen DEVASTATED as key royal catches covid & must miss Christmas celebrationsCOOL TIP You've been tumble drying your clothes all wrong... no ironing with a simple trickDUST IT OFF You’ve been...
    L’EPR d’Olkiluoto on October 3, 2016 in Eurasia, Finland (Lehtiguva / Marty Cainulinen) After sixteen years of work, twelve years after the initially scheduled commissioning date, the plant operator announced on Tuesday that the EPR nuclear reactor, built by the French Areva, was launched tonight for the first time in Finland. After the first chain reaction of 03:22 local (01:22 GMT) inside the reactor, 30% of the power generation should start in January, before operating normally in June. In a press release, D.V.O. “The moment of launch is historic. The last time a nuclear reactor was launched in Finland was more than 40 years ago, and even in Europe this event was about 15 years ago,” the Olkiluoto plant operator underlined. A nuclear reactor was launched in Romania in 2007. By the end of the project, which began in 2005 in southwestern Finland, delays and financial slippages had led to the crossing of the Areva, making the Olkiluoto EPR the most powerful reactor operating in Europe. With a capacity of 1,650...
    Helsinki, FinlandFinnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin apologized to the public on Wednesday after a photo surfaced of her in a nightclub following the foreign minister testing positive for Covid-19."I did wrong. I should have considered the situation more carefully," Marin said in a television interview by public broadcaster Yle on Wednesday night.Marin said she decided not to cut her night out short on Saturday after being told she had been exposed to the coronavirus the day before, she wrote on Facebook on Monday after a Finnish gossip magazine published a photo of her in a crowded nightclub. From cashier to worlds youngest PM. Finlands new leader breaks the moldEconomic Affairs Minister Mika Lintila attended a floorball match between Finland and Latvia on Sunday despite being advised to avoid contact with others, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported on Wednesday.Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen went to a dinner party on Saturday while Finance Minister Annika Saarikko and Science and Culture Minister Antti Kurvinen canceled their attendance of the same event to avoid contacts, evening paper Ilta-Sanomat reported on Tuesday.Read MoreAll three ministers were exposed...
    Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin apologized this week for going out to a nightclub in Helsinki over the weekend after her foreign affairs minister tested positive for COVID-19.  The 36-year-old said she spent time with her husband, went to dinner, saw friends and "spent time in the evening and night life as well." On Saturday night, her secretary of state called her with the news that Foreign Affairs Minister Pekka Haavisto tested positive for COVID-19.  Social democrats minister Sanna Marin speaks to the media after she was elected as the new Prime Minister of Finland, in Helsinki, Finland, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP) In Finland, individuals who are fully vaccinated aren't required to quarantine, so she went about her evening and left her work phone at home.  It wasn't until Sunday that she realized she had received additional instructions on her work phone to avoid contact with other people and get tested for COVID-19.  "I should have used better consideration on Saturday night," Marin wrote on Facebook. "I'm really sorry." EUROPEAN UNION MULLING MANDATORY COVID-19...
    Finland's prime minister apologized on Monday for partying in nightclubs over the weekend just hours after she came into contact with her foreign minister, who tested positive for COVID-19. Sanna Marin, 36, said she was initially told she did not need to isolate because Finland's COVID-19 guidelines do not require vaccinated residents to quarantine after coming in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. However, she was later told through a text to avoid social contact, which she did not see until she got home after 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, according to the BBC . "I am very sorry for not understanding that I needed to do that," Marin wrote in a Facebook post. SWEDEN ELECTS FIRST FEMALE PRIME MINISTER - FOR SECOND TIME Marin said she did not see the message telling her to stay home because the message was sent to her work phone, which she claimed she left at home. Upon reading the message, she quickly conducted a COVID-19 test, with the result returning negative, the outlet reported. Though...
    Players of Denmark celebrate in front of their fans following their side's victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group B match between Russia and Denmark at Parken Stadium on June 21, 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Wolfgang Rattay — Pool/Getty Images Denmark secured an emotional victory against Russia at Euro 2020 Monday night. A 4-1 win put the Danes through to the last 16 of the tournament, where the team will face Wales. Victory came just nine days after Christian Eriksen's terrifying on-field collapse against Finland. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen scored the pick of the goals as Denmark defeated Russia 4-1 on an emotional night in Copenhagen which saw the team progress to the last 16 of Euro 2020 just nine days after Christian Eriksen's terrifying on-field collapse. Mikkel Damsgaard opened the scoring in the first half before Yussuf Poulsen doubled the Danes' advantage just before half time. Despite penalty from Russia's Artem Dzyuba in the 70th minute, the game was put beyond doubt when Christensen rifled in a long range...