Finland president to green light NATO entry

Sauli Niinisto, Finnish President

© APA | Sauli Niinisto, Finnish President

# 12 May 2022 06:30 (UTC +04:00)

President Sauli Niinisto is expected to give a greenlight on Thursday for Finland to join the NATO military alliance, in a major shift of security policy in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Finland, which shares a 1,300 km (810 mile) border and a difficult past with Russia, has gradually stepped up its cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a partner since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, APA reports citing Reuters.

But it has refrained from joining in order to maintain friendly relations with its eastern neighbour.

Niinisto leads Finland's foreign policy in cooperation with the government under the constitution and therefore his stance is considered decisive for the application. The government and parliament are also expected to give their approvals for the decision shortly.

"My message is clear: Finland will ensure its security. That is not to anyone's detriment," Niinisto said last week after meeting with the parliament's defence committee.

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