Finnish political parties gathered Tuesday to discuss joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a first step to possibly ending the Nordic nation’s decadeslong nonaligned status and another sign of the tectonic shifts in Europe’s security landscape prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The parliamentary debate followed a decision Monday to send military aid to Ukraine, breaking with a longstanding Finnish policy of not sending weapons to war zones. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin at a news conference Monday called the decision historic.
Watching 200,000 Russian troops amass on the border with Ukraine, a country with eight times the population of Finland, unsettled many in the Nordic country, which was a part of Russia until 1917 and was invaded by half a million Soviet troops in 1939.
Finland shares the European Union’s longest border with Russia, a key factor in its decision not to antagonize Moscow by joining NATO.
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