Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto declared on Sunday that his nation would apply for NATO membership, a historic policy move precipitated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow, which shares a 1,300 km (800 mile) border with Finland, has suggested that Helsinki joining the 30-strong transatlantic alliance would be a mistake and would hurt bilateral ties.

Sweden is anticipated to follow suit, as public support for membership has surged in response to security concerns.

The statement on Sunday comes after Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin declared on Thursday that they both support NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) membership, paving the way for the country to apply.

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