Finland is set to apply to join Nato “without delay” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, after Boris Johnson made a whistle-stop tour to the country.
The country’s prime minister, Sauli Niinistö, made the announcement during a visit to Helsinki by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In a statement, he said “NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security”, following intense domestic and parliamentary discussion.
“As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance. Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay.
“We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”
This comes after Boris Johnson met Niinistö in Helsinki this week ahead of the signing of a security agreement with the country.
Johnson also met Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in Harpsund, , to discuss long term security collaboration.
Sweden has also been considering joining NATO in wake of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
During his visit to Helsinki, Johnson spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg by phone.
The Kremlin has warned its Scandinavian neighbours against joining the military alliance, warning in April it would have to “rebalance the situation” if they made the move.
Russia has been struggling to make major gains in Ukraine as it faces fierce resistance especially in the north-east of the country.