Finnish leaders support NATO membership
The President and Prime Minister of Finland on Thursday announced their support for joining NATO
The Nordic nation, which shares an 800-mile border with Russia, is one step ahead of its membership in the US-led military alliance.
The Kremlin has reacted by saying the move would be dangerous for Russia and warned of possible retaliation.
After the Finnish government recently presented a report on national security in the country's parliament, outlining its path to joining the alliance as one of Finland's options
Statements of support for NATO were expected from President Sauli Ninisto and Prime Minister Sanaa Marin.
In a joint statement, Ninisto and Marin said: "NATO membership will strengthen Finland's security. As a member of NATO, Finland will strengthen its overall defense lead.
Finland should apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that national steps are still needed. This decision will be taken expeditiously in the coming days.