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Putin’s War Pushes Neighbors Into NATO Embrace

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (L) and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (L) and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Photographer: Paul Wennerholm/AFP/Getty Images

A short ferry ride from Finland’s capital Helsinki lies the fortress island of Suomenlinna, and a long-decommissioned submarine. Under the terms of a treaty agreed with the Soviet Union in 1948, Finland secured political autonomy but had to defang its military — meaning no operational subs.

Now, Finland is again poking the bear. Its president and prime minister announced today they’d support an application to join NATO, overturning decades of neutrality as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A formal decision should come this weekend. Sweden is expected to follow suit.