https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-05-17/card/sweden-and-finland-to-submit-nato-membership-application-on-wednesday-bBXWPRA8JV6Tqn53w3YA

Sweden and Finland will submit their applications for NATO membership on Wednesday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Stockholm on Tuesday.

The two leaders made their announcement hours after 94% of Finland’s lawmakers approved the country’s NATO bid in a lengthy parliamentary session. It also followed announcements from both countries’ governments over the weekend that they intend to break with decades of nonalignment and apply to join the alliance in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We make our own decisions, and Finland makes its own decisions, but I am pleased that we can do this together,” Ms. Andersson said. “It’s the best for our country’s security.”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, both countries have gone through weeks of political deliberations following a sharp turn in public opinion, which now overwhelmingly favors NATO membership.

Finland’s Parliament approved the country’s NATO bid on Tuesday after a 14-hour plenary session stretching over two days. Mr. Niinisto said his country had gone through the lengthy process because of the gravity of the decision, to make sure that everyone had the chance to deliberate and pose questions.

“I think democracy won,” he said.

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