Headline RoundupMay 12th, 2022

Finland’s Leaders Recommend NATO Membership ‘Without Delay’

AllSides Summary

Finland’s leaders called for the country to join NATO “without delay” on Thursday amid growing fears that Russian aggression would expand beyond Ukraine

“We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement, adding that both Finland and NATO would be “strengthened.” Russian officials called the move a “threat to Russia,” and some Finnish politicians warned that Russia could cut off natural gas pipelines to the country. 

NATO membership has long been controversial in Finland and neighboring Sweden, which is also considering joining the alliance. However, public support for joining NATO skyrocketed in Finland since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, from about 20% to 76%. Joining NATO would effectively end decades of Finnish neutrality between Russia and the West — although that arrangement was not without its tensions

Coverage was widespread on Thursday. While most coverage was fairly similar across the spectrum, one article from Fox News (Right bias) stood out by directly describing NATO expansion as “a contributing factor as to why” Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine.

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