Finland’s president and government have announced the Nordic country intends to apply for membership of Nato, paving the way for the 30-member Western military alliance to expand amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement at a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on Sunday.
Finland, which shares a long border with Russia, has previously been a neutral country.
Mr Niinisto said: “This is a historic day. A new era begins.”
The Finnish Parliament is expected to endorse the decision in coming days, but it is considered a formality.
A formal membership application will then be submitted to Nato headquarters in Brussels, most likely at some point next week.