Finland to apply for NATO membership
24 May 2022 | 10:55 am
Finland has formally announced its intent to join NATO, marking a monumental shift from a long-held position of military nonalignment. DW reports from the Russian-Finnish border on the dramatic turnaround in popular opinion following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
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Russia's invasion of Ukraine has pushed Sweden and Finland to seek to join NATO. All but two of the military alliance's 30 members have ratified the accession. European officials seem confident Hungary will eventually agree, leaving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the chief obstacle.
Kurdish and anti-Islam protests in Sweden have angered Turkey, threatening the Nordic countries' joint NATO application. Turkey has thus far blocked the pair's NATO bid.
The Turkish president reiterated Ankara's demands that Sweden extradite "terrorists." Finland and Sweden have made a joint bid to join the military alliance, ending decades of non-alignment.
Finland and Sweden's NATO membership bids remain blocked by members Turkey and Hungary. Germany's top diplomat Annalena Baerbock said she expected their NATO accession to take place "without further delay."
Turkey has agreed to discuss Sweden and Finland's membership bid with NATO. The two countries decided to join the security alliance after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. Negotiations began last June, but were called off in January.
The World Happiness Report surveys how satisfied people are with their lives in different countries. Germany was in 16th place this year, dropping two spots.
A focus on Finland's NATO bid has hidden the depths of the country's labor shortage. But a chronic lack of workers is on voters' minds as they head to the polls on Sunday.
Talking Europe interviews Tytti Tuppurainen, Finland's minister for European affairs, following the Hungarian parliament's ratification of Helsinki's application to join NATO. Finland and Sweden both applied nearly a year ago, in what was seen as a huge shift in European security.
Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has conceded a narrow defeat to the center-right opposition in national elections. The vote came shortly before the country's NATO accession.
NATO foreign ministers are gathering in Brussels to discuss the war in Ukraine as Finland is set to become the 31st member of the alliance.
Finland has officially become a member of NATO, dramatically widening Russia's frontier with the military alliance. The Kremlin described the accession as an "assault on our security."
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