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DW News published this video item, entitled “Finland announces to apply for NATO membership | DW News” – below is their description.
The president and prime minister of Finland released a joint statement on Thursday laying out their intention to bring Finland into the NATO alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in the statement. “Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” they added, saying that they hope the decision will be taken “within the next few days.”
Finland shares a long, 1,300-kilometer (810-mile) border with Russia. During the Cold War, Helsinki maintained a form of diplomatic non-alignment between NATO and the Soviet Union, but Moscow’s recent aggression has pushed the Baltic state to reconsider its position. Public support in Finland for joining the western alliance has shot up since Russian troops marched into Ukraine, reaching 76% according to a recent poll carried out by public broadcaster YLE. This marks a substantial shift in public perception as previous support for joining NATO had hovered around 25% for many years.
Friendly relations with Russia have soured since the beginning of the invasion with threats from Moscow that any attempt to join NATO would bring consequences. Finland, which fought in wars against the Soviet Union in 1939 and 1944, stepped up its cooperation with NATO following Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014.
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Crimea is a peninsula along the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe. It has a population of 2.4 million, made up mostly of ethnic Russians with significant Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar minorities.
Finland is a Northern European nation bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia. Its capital, Helsinki, occupies a peninsula and surrounding islands in the Baltic Sea. The Northern Lights can be seen from the country’s Arctic Lapland province, a vast wilderness with national parks and ski resorts.
Moscow, on the Moskva River in western Russia, is the nation’s cosmopolitan capital. In its historic core is the Kremlin, a complex that’s home to the president and tsarist treasures in the Armoury. Outside its walls is Red Square, Russia’s symbolic center. It’s home to Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum’s comprehensive collection and St. Basil’s Cathedral, known for its colorful, onion-shaped domes.
Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.
Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.
The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and since 1993 Russia been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia is a major great power, with the world’s second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. As a recognised nuclear-weapon state, the country possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.
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