May 15, 2022

Finland formally confirms Nato bid

Finland's president has confirmed his country will formally apply for Nato membership - a move Vladimir Putin has described as a mistake.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto called it a "historic day". He says the shift in policy is in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Nato foreign ministers say they want a rapid accession process for Finland.

Sweden could also announce its intention to join as soon as Monday.

President Sauli Niinisto says his latest talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Finland's bid to join Nato did not contain any threats.

"He confirmed that he thinks it's a mistake. We are not threatening you. Altogether, the discussion was very, could I say, calm and cool," Niinisto tells CNN.

Finland shares a 1,300-km (810-mile) border with Russia. Until now, it has stayed out of Nato to avoid antagonising its eastern neighbour.

(BBC News)