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    Finland's Parliament voted overwhelmingly to approve its application to join NATO, shoring up the trans-Atlantic alliance as Russia continues its assault on non-NATO state Ukraine, Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced Tuesday. Of the 200 lawmakers, 188 voted in favor and eight voted against the application after Finnish President Sauli Niinisto announced the country's intention to apply for NATO membership, the prime minister, who favors joining NATO, said. "The long and stable line of foreign and security policy, which seeks consensus, is still in place today," Marin tweeted after the vote, according to a translation. WHITE HOUSE: US SUPPORTS NATO APPLICATION FROM FINLAND AND SWEDEN The decision was contingent on Parliament's approval, setting the stage for Finland to finalize its application. Finland's neighbors have also made moves to join the international alliance amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, Sweden announced its intent to apply for NATO membership, breaking from nearly 200 years of military nonalignment. Both countries' applications for membership will require all 30 member states to "accede" through unanimous agreement. The Biden...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden on Thursday will welcome the Prime Minister of Sweden and the President of Finland to the White House in a key show of support days after both countries announced they would seek to join NATO. The leaders are expected to discuss Finland and Sweden's NATO applications, European security and support for Ukraine amid Russia's invasion, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. Both countries are looking to join the military alliance after Russia's assault on Ukraine sparked renewed security concerns across the region. Their historic bids to join NATO represent a dramatic evolution in European security and geopolitics. The US and other NATO leaders have expressed support for Finland and Sweden joining the military alliance. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said the US would "strongly support" their NATO applications. Both Finland and Sweden already meet many of the requirements to be a NATO member, which include having a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy; treating minority populations fairly; committing to resolve conflicts peacefully; the ability and willingness to make...
    STOCKHOLM (AP) – Sweden on Tuesday signed a formal request to join NATO, a day after the country announced it would seek membership in the 30-member military alliance. In neighboring Finland, lawmakers are expected later in the day to formally endorse Finnish leaders´ decision also to join. The moves by the two Nordic countries, ending Sweden´s more than 200 years of military nonalignment and Finland´s nonalignment after World War II, have provoked the ire of the Kremlin. While most NATO members are keen to welcome the two countries as quickly as possible, Turkey has potentially complicated their accession by saying it cannot allow them to become members because of their perceived inaction against exiled Kurdish militants. Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Micael Byden gives a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 16, 2022. (Photo by Claudio BRESCIANI / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday doubled down on comments last week indicating that the two Nordic countries´ path to NATO would be anything but smooth. All 30 current NATO...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden Biden will host Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and President Sauli Niinistö of Finland at the White House for a meeting Thursday amid their push to join NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The White House said they would discuss the two countries’ applications to join the mutual defense alliance, as well as European security broadly. The requests by the long-neutral nations to join NATO have been widely lauded within the alliance as a rebuke of Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, though Turkey has expressed reservations. The meeting is set to take place before Biden departs Washington for a four-day trip to South Korea and Japan. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden on Tuesday signed a formal request to join NATO, a day after the country announced it would seek membership in the 30-member military alliance. In neighboring Finland, lawmakers are expected later in the day to formally endorse Finnish leaders’ decision also to join. The moves by the two Nordic countries, ending Sweden’s more than 200 years of military nonalignment and Finland’s nonalignment after World War II, have provoked the ire of the Kremlin. While most NATO members are keen to welcome the two countries as quickly as possible, Turkey has potentially complicated their accession by saying it cannot allow them to become members because of their perceived inaction against exiled Kurdish militants. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday doubled down on comments last week indicating that the two Nordic countries´ path to NATO would be anything but smooth. All 30 current NATO countries must agree to open the door to new members. He accused the two Nordic countries of refusing to extradite “terrorists” wanted by his country. In Stockholm, Swedish Foreign Minister...
    Turkey gave Vladimir Putin a boost last night by refusing to support Finland and Sweden’s bid to join Nato.  It accused Sweden – which formally announced its intention to join the alliance yesterday – of being a ‘hatchery’ for terrorist organisations.  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told delegates from the two Nordic nations not to bother visiting Ankara for planned negotiations to address Turkey’s concerns.  His fierce resistance surprised allies and will be welcomed by Putin, who has claimed any expansion of Nato could be seen as a sign of Western aggression. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) gave Vladimir Putin (middle) a boost last night by refusing to support Finland and Sweden’s bid to join Nato. Pictured on right in 2015 is also chairman of Russia's Council of Muftis Ravil Gainutdin RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 2 Next Putin's commanders are slaughtering their own wounded... Russia's offensive in Eastern Ukraine has FAILED, says top... Bank of England chief Andrew Bailey issues 'apocalyptic'... Share this article Share Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson...
    STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Sweden´s prime minister has announced that Sweden will join Finland in seeking NATO membership in the wake of Russia´s invasion of Ukraine, a historic shift that comes after more than 200 years of military nonalignment in the Nordic country. The move on Monday, which is likely to upset the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin, came after neighboring Finland announced Sunday that it too would seek to join the 30-country military alliance. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson called it “a historic change in our country´s security policy” as she addressed lawmakers in the Swedish capital. “We will inform NATO that we want to become a member of the alliance,” she said. “Sweden needs formal security guarantees that come with membership in NATO.” Canada Supports ‘Quick Accession For Sweden, Finland: Minister https://t.co/VQlli7oj4G — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 16, 2022
    Sweden announced its intent to apply for NATO membership Monday, breaking from nearly 200 years of military nonalignment. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said the measure was "broadly affirmed" in the Parliament, which is also mulling a bill to allow Stockholm to receive military support from all NATO and EU countries, a move that is likely to alienate Russian President Vladimir Putin. TURKEY THREATENS TO DERAIL FINLAND AND SWEDEN ACCESSION TO NATO "After the debate, the Swedish government formally decided to apply for NATO membership," Andersson announced. “We will inform NATO that we want to become a member of the alliance." Stockholm had been widely expected to express its intent to join the military alliance. Only two out of Sweden’s eight major parties opposed the initiative Monday, allowing the country to join Finland, which formally announced plans to apply to the alliance last Thursday. A potential foil in Sweden's plans to join NATO is Turkey, which voiced opposition to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance last week. Ankara did not explicitly announce plans to block the...
    STOCKHOLM (AP) — In a historic shift likely to upset the Kremlin, Sweden will join Finland in requesting NATO membership. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    NATO is today holding a huge military drill in the Baltics just a day after Finland and Sweden confirmed their intention to join the alliance, raising tensions with Russia. Some 15,000 troops from 10 different countries - including Finland, Sweden and a small detachment from Ukraine - will participate in the exercise dubbed 'Siil' or 'Hedgehog' which will take place just 40 miles from the nearest Russian base.  The drill will simulate an attack from Russia on Estonia and will be one of the largest exercises based out of the country since 1991 - largely bolstered by an additional 900 British troops deployed to Tallin in February before the war in Ukraine broke out. NATO stressed that Hedgehog has been long-planned, but it none-the-less underscores tensions in the Baltics which have ramped up dramatically after Putin ordered his army across Ukraine's borders on February 24. Russian state media last night threatened to deploy additional nuclear weapons to the region after Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the alliance, blaming the Kremlin's decision to attack Ukraine as the reason for...
    Young Swedish men aged 18 to 29 are the age cohort least supportive of joining the NATO military alliance, while elderly Swedes unlikely to be drafted in wartime are far more likely to support the proposition. A total of 43 per cent of Swedish men aged 18 to 29, the demographic most likely to fight in a war, said they were in favour of joining NATO, while 43 per cent said they were not in favour and wanted the country to remain neutral. For women in the same age range, the support for NATO membership jumps to 45 per cent, with just 32 per cent saying they are against the proposal, according to the poll which was conducted by the firm Novus, broadcaster SVT reports. “[I]t’s still the case that the men are as many for as against. They stand and weigh, it’s not a clear no but a pretty clear ‘well’. Almost every second wants to join and almost every other one does not want to join,” Novus CEO Torbjörn Sjöström told the broadcaster. “Overall… the young are more hesitant...
    (CNN)Finland's government announced Sunday it will apply to join NATO, ditching decades of wartime neutrality and ignoring Russian threats of possible retaliation as the Nordic country attempts to strengthen its security following the onset of the war in Ukraine. The decision was announced at a joint press conference on Sunday with President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who said the move must be ratified by the country's parliament before it can go forward. "We hope that the parliament will confirm the decision to apply for NATO membership," Marin said during a press conference in Helsinki Sunday. "During the coming days. It will be based on a strong mandate, with the President of the Republic. We have been in close contact with governments of NATO member states and NATO itself."The move would bring the US-led military alliance up to Finland's 830-mile border with Russia, but could take months to finalize as legislatures of all 30 current members must approve new applicants.It also risks provoking Russia's ire, whose President Vladimir Putin told his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö on Saturday that...
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced opposition on Friday to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, insisting the countries were supportive of Kurdish "terrorist organizations." While Erdogan did not explicitly commit to blocking the Nordic countries' bid to join the powerful alliance, an objection from Turkey could derail their accession because NATO makes its decisions by consensus. In response, U.S. officials have been scrambling to get clarification from Turkey. RUSSIAN MEDIA PRESENT ‘ALTERNATE UNIVERSE’ COVERAGE OF WAR IN UKRAINE: DIPLOMAT "We are following the developments regarding Sweden and Finland, but we are not of a favorable opinion," Erdogan said, per the Associated Press. "Scandinavian countries are guesthouses for terrorist organizations. ... They are even members of the parliament in some countries. It is not possible for us to be in favor." Finland announced its intent to join the alliance on Thursday, and Sweden is expected to do the same within the coming days. Both countries refrained from joining NATO for decades, but Russia's war in Ukraine has seemingly prompted the two nations to rethink their reluctance to...
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he is not in favour of Sweden and Finland joining NATO, threatening to derail their membership bids. Erdogan said the countries are 'guesthouses for terrorist organisations' such as the Kurdish PKK and supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a cleric accused of leading a coup against him in 2016, and added: 'We cannot be positive towards this.' But he did not declare outright opposition, leaving the door open to a deal. Sweden and Finland's foreign ministers say they expect to speak with their Turkish counterpart on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Berlin tomorrow. Turkish President Erdogan has said he is not in favour of Sweden and Finland being allowed to join NATO, accusing them of hosting 'terrorists' Ann Linde, Sweden's top diplomat, told news agency AFP that she would have 'the opportunity' to talk about 'a potential NATO application' at the summit. Meanwhile Finland's Pekka Haavistosaid said he hoped to 'continue our discussion' with Turkey's Mevlut Cavusoglu in the German capital. Erdogan's remarks come just a day after Finland's prime minister and president said...
    HELSINKI (AP) — A report by the Swedish government on the changed security environment facing the Nordic country after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine says Moscow would react negatively to Sweden joining NATO and launch several counter-measures. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that his country is “not favorable” toward Finland and Sweden joining the alliance. As a NATO member, Turkey could veto moves to admit the two countries. “We are following developments concerning Sweden and Finland carefully but we are not of a favorable opinion,” Erdogan told reporters. The Swedish government’s security policy analysis, which will be used as a basis for Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Cabinet to decide whether to seek membership in the Western military alliance, was presented to Swedish lawmakers Friday. The report points to number of advantages to joining NATO – above all the collective security provided by the 30-member military alliance. At the same time, it lists numerous tactics Russia is likely to take in retaliation. These would include cyber and different kind of hybrid attacks, violations of Swedish airspace or territorial...
    The traditionally militarily neutral Scandinavian country of Finland has announced its intention to join the NATO military alliance in response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia, with neighbouring Sweden — also normally neutral — widely expected to follow suit. The expansionism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union was cited by Moscow as one of the central motivating factors in the February invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military, however, it appears that the so-called “special military operation” has resulted in more expansionism by the West. After months of speculation, Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President Sauli Niinistö announced on Thursday morning that they would be seeking NATO membership “without delay”. “NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance. Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days,” the leaders said in a joint statement. Finland, which shares over 800 miles of a land border...
    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...
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, here seen addressing a press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Helsinki, Finland, on Wednesday, signed a security pact with Finland just ahead of the European nation's decision on whether to apply for NATO membership.Frank Augstein | Afp | Getty Images A decision by Finland and Sweden to join NATO will improve deterrence against Russia in northern Europe and add to the U.S.-led military alliance's security, one analyst from Atlantic Council told CNBC on Thursday. Her comments came right before Finland's President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced their country should apply to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization "without delay."  "NATO membership would strengthen Finland's security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance," they said in a joint statement. A similar announcement from Sweden is expected later this week. "Sweden and Finland joining NATO will increase deterrence in the region because of the assets they will provide the alliance. And [because of] the ability to plan for Northern Europe's security in a comprehensive manner," said the...
    Finland’s leaders announced on Thursday that they are in support of the country applying for NATO membership. If Finland proceeds with the application process and is accepted into the alliance, it would expand NATO to 31 member nations. The announcement by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin comes amid Kremlin threats against the nation as Russia continues its war in Ukraine. "Now that the moment of decision-making is near, we state our equal views, also for information to the parliamentary groups and parties. NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance," Niinisto and Marin said in a joint statement. "Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days," the leaders concluded. UNITED KINGDOM PLEDGES DEFENSE OF NATO ASPIRANTS FINLAND AND SWEDEN Finland, which shares a roughly 800 mile border with Russia, and neighboring Sweden have taken preliminary steps toward applying for NATO membership since Russia's...
    Finland's president and prime minister have said the country must submit an application to join NATO in the face of Russian aggression. The major policy shift was announced today in a joint statement by President Sauli Niinisto, who has often served as a mediator between Russia and the West, and Prime Minister Sanna Marin. A special committee will announce Finland's decision on a membership bid on Sunday although it could take until October before the country is formally admitted to the pact.  When asked what he would say to Russia who had made dire threats of 'destruction' and 'the most undesirable consequences' in Finland sought membership, Niinisto replied: 'You caused this. Look in the mirror.'  The dramatic move comes a day after Boris Johnson signed security pacts with Helsinki and Sweden pledging Britain would come to their aid if they come under Russian attack. They said: 'Now that the moment of decision-making is near, we state our equal views, also for information to the parliamentary groups and parties.  'NATO membership would strengthen Finland's security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen...
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