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Finland, Sweden Set to Seek NATO Entry in Historic Shift

  • Finland makes formal decision to seek membership in bloc
  • Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats reverse opposition to entry
Swedish army insignia.
Swedish army insignia.Photographer: Mikael Sjoberg/Bloomberg
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Finland and Sweden are set to apply for membership in the NATO defense bloc after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is ending an era of the two Nordic nations shunning military alliances.

Finland’s parliament is expected in coming days to approve a formal decision to seek entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced at a news conference in Helsinki on Sunday. Later in the day, neighboring Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats reversed their long-held opposition to such a step, removing the last obstacle to joining Finland’s bid.