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US, allies likely to fast track Finland’s NATO application

With the government of Finland endorsing its application to join the alliance, NATO members are looking for their first new member in two years, with a second suitor, Sweden, likely to follow close behind, the New York Times reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks at expansion of the NATO alliance as a threat to Russian security, the reason he invaded Ukraine eleven weeks ago.  Two NATO nations already border Russia:  Estonia and Latvia. Lithuania and Poland border an outcrop of land that provides access to the Baltic Sea.

Finland, with a one million-member military force, shares a 800-mile border with Russia and has been the target of Russian aggression in the past.  As Finland’s Parliament discussed its application this week, a Russian nuclear-capable bomber flew alarmingly close to the border.  Last week, a Russian military helicopter briefly flew into Finnish airspace.

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