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Sweden, Finland move toward NATO membership

Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave remarks at an informal meeting of NATO members in Berlin on May 15. (Video: The Washington Post)
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Swedish leaders moved Sunday to join Finland in ending a long-standing military nonalignment, paving the way for an application to join NATO and saying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended the European security landscape.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has endorsed admission for both countries and hailed a potential “historic moment.” Russia has cast any expansion of NATO as a threat, but Finnish President Sauli Niinisto told CNN on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “calm and cool” in a call as Finland prepares to apply for membership.

Speaking in Berlin on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken described broad support for Sweden and Finland’s membership among foreign ministers. But all NATO countries must agree on new members, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the Nordic nations.

Here’s what else to know

  • Moscow’s forces are working to stave off Ukrainian troops’ advance toward the Russian border and continuing attacks elsewhere in the east, Ukrainian military officials said Sunday.
  • A nearly $40 billion American aid package for Ukraine will be up for full Senate debate in the coming week.
  • Britain’s Defense Ministry says Russia appears to have lost a third of the ground combat force it committed in February.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.