For most Finns, the prospect of their country joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization had long been virtually unthinkable. While Finland had moved closer to the military alliance over the last three decades, it had resisted the idea of becoming a full-fledged member.

That all changed when Vladimir Putin sent ten thousand tanks into Ukraine.  Now Finland’s government is preparing to amend a security white paper that would lay the groundwork for the country’s application to NATO. The paper is set to be presented before the parliament on April 14, with a decision on membership anticipated in May, if not sooner.

The government’s efforts broadly reflect Finnish public sentiment. Some 60 percent of Finns now support NATO membership — a 53 percent increase from when the war began.

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