Finland to announce Nato membership plan


Finland’s president Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin will be setting out their positions on Nato membership at 10:00 local time (07:00 GMT), reports BBC.

It’s likely to be a yes from both to joining the defence alliance. It would pave the way for a final decision to be made involving parliament in the coming days.

Russia has warned there will be consequences if they join Nato, whose members see an attack on one as an attack on all.

But both Sweden and Finland – which have a long history of wartime neutrality – have seen public support for joining Nato grow since Russia invaded Ukraine.

On Wednesday UK PM Boris Johnson signed security declarations with Sweden and Finland, pledging UK support should their militaries come under attack.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called Russia the “most direct threat” to world order, given its invasion of Ukraine. Speaking in Tokyo as part of annual talks, she also highlighted Russia’s “worrying” ties with China.

Finland set to provide Nato decision
All eyes are now on Finland as their President and Prime Minister are set to lay out their positions on whether or not the country might join Nato.

The Nordic country has had a long history of neutrality – but as the war in Ukraine rages, public support for joining Nato has soared to record highs.

We’ll bring you more on this as it happens – for now its Yvette Tan and Zubaidah Abdul Jalil signing out and handing over to our colleagues Holly Wallis, Malu Cursino and Thom Poole in London who will bring you the latest updates.