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Finland officially announces NATO membership candidate – Newsroom

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“This is a historic day. A new era has begun,” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.

The Finnish head of state said that Finland’s accession to NATO “is proof of the strength of democracy” and recalled that this decision was supported by the majority of citizens, political parties and Parliament (Eduskunta).

“Finland will increase its security as much as possible, and this poses no danger to anyone,” Sauli Niinistö said, referring to neighboring Russia, which views the entry of this Scandinavian country into NATO as a threat.

According to the Associated Press, the Finnish parliament is expected to back the decision in the coming days, a formality of the process.

The membership application will then be sent to Brussels, NATO Headquarters.

This is expected to happen within the next week.

It comes a day after Russian leader Vladimir Putin warned Finland that ending military neutrality would be a “mistake”.

After the war in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden began a discussion about joining NATO, which, if implemented, would mean abandoning the historical position of non-alignment of the two countries.

Russia has warned Finland that it will be forced to take retaliatory measures “both of a military-technical and other nature” if the country joins NATO.

Also today in Sweden, the Social Democrats currently in power will speak out on whether they support the candidacy.

With the support of the Social Democratic deputies in the Swedish Parliament, there would be an overwhelming majority in favor of the country’s candidacy for the Atlantic Alliance.

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The Swedish Social Democrats have been since the creation of the Atlantic Alliance in 1949 the main political force against entry, and this line was still confirmed at the last party congress in November.

On Friday, the Swedish authorities released a government and parties report on possible accession, outlining the benefits for Sweden’s accession, including for security in northern Europe.

Russia has a 1,340 km long land border with Finland and a maritime border with Sweden.

MNE highlights ‘good reason for optimism’ on divergence in Alliance expansion

The Portuguese Foreign Minister stressed today that there is “a good basis for optimism” about Finland and Sweden joining NATO, which will resolve the “open issues”, namely the differences pointed out by Turkey.

“I think there are good grounds for optimism. [porque] we all understand that the differences that may exist are always small compared to what really matters, which is strengthening the Alliance and strengthening the security of Finland and Sweden,” said Joao Gomes Cravinho.

Speaking at the conclusion of an informal meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) foreign ministers in Berlin, the head of Portuguese diplomacy stressed that “Turkey, Finland and Sweden are in the process of dialogue to resolve differences” after Ankara was unwilling to expand the Atlantic alliance.

“What happened today was a repetition, already among us – 30 [e sem os chefes da diplomacia finlandesa e sueca] – about the very strong support regarding the accession of Finland and Sweden, and Turkey itself says that it is keen that Finland and Sweden can enter, but it has some concerns and Finland and Sweden will know how to solve open issues, ” – said Joao Gomes Cravinho, addressing the Portuguese journalists.

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To allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO, the approval of the 30 members of the Atlantic Alliance is required.

On the eve of the meeting in the German capital, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke out against the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO, in favor of hosting Kurdish militants, whom Turkey considers terrorists.

It was the first dissenting voice among the 30 Allies on this issue.

The admission of a new member state to NATO requires unanimity, which means that Turkey will be able to block the entry of two Scandinavian countries, whose candidacy should be formalized in the coming days.

However, on Saturday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman came to ensure Turkey “doesn’t close the door” on the two Scandinavian countries joining the Atlantic alliance.

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New footage shows how civilians were executed in Bucha – Obozrevatel

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You have free access to all Observer articles as a subscriber.

american newspaper New York Times published a series of never-before-seen videos showing moments leading up to the executions in Bucha, helping to demonstrate that war crimes had taken place there.

The images were captured by CCTV cameras and amateur footage. According to the NYT, they depict what happened on March 4 in this suburb of Kyiv: You can see a line of Ukrainian men being held hostage at gunpoint by a pair of Russian soldiers.

A second drone video of the next day (March 5) shows what the same group of men would look like after the executions.

You can see that they are the same group because there was a man in the hostage line wearing a blue hooded sweater who, according to the NYT, is also easily spotted later in the pictures of the corpse the next day.

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In this drone footage, this set of corpses can be seen on the wall of house No. 144 on Yablunskaya Street, in exactly the same place where other footage from the day before shows the men to be picked up. Drone footage from March 5 shows the same civilian wearing a light blue shirt in a group of corpses, which at the time of the drone footage was guarded by two Russian soldiers. .

Russia has denied accusations that it carried out mass executions of civilians in Bucha, calling all images that have reached the West “false” and “provocative.”

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The Pentagon warns that it will be difficult to withdraw Russia from the Donbass

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Russian forces continue to experience cohesion, morale and logistics problems, a senior US Department of Defense official told reporters, without confirming the sweeps in Russian military command that London mentioned.

“We will continue to be very cautious about our forecasts,” he added.

A senior official, who asked not to be named, said the United States is “absolutely determined to do everything to help Ukrainians defend themselves, including their education.”

“[Os ucranianos] they are very well behaved on the battlefield, they have no problems with cohesion, they have no problems with command, their logistics and supplies are really historical,” he said.

“But the Russians still have at their disposal a significant part of the opportunities that they have accumulated since autumn” on the borders of Ukraine, he stressed.

The entity also stated that “the ability to fight is not enough to win the war”, stating that “you must have the will to fight and a good path.”

But despite all this, “we continue to believe that this conflict will continue,” he said.

The Russian army, which is now concentrating its efforts in southern Ukraine to build a land bridge that will link Russian territory with the 2014-annexed Crimean peninsula, has taken control of the port of Mariupol after the capitulation of Ukrainian soldiers defending a steel plant from Azovstal.

The Kremlin is “absolutely convinced” of the “liberation” of Donbass and the demilitarization of neighboring territories in eastern Ukraine after the surrender of almost all supporters of Azovstal.

“Firstly, Donbass is waiting for the complete liberation of historical territories. I am absolutely convinced that the Russian army and the people’s militias of Donetsk and Luhansk will restore the historical borders,” said Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Sergei Kiriyenko.

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Sergei Kiriyenko stressed that Moscow is seeking to “demilitarize the neighboring territories so that they stop launching rockets and mortars on the territory of Donbass.”

“The future of Donbass will be decided by its inhabitants. I’m sure they’ll have that chance,” he said.

The war in Ukraine, now in its 85th day, has already forced more than 14 million people to flee their homes – about eight million internally displaced and more than 6.3 million – to neighboring countries, according to the latest UN figures. considers this refugee crisis to be the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).

Also, according to the UN, about 15 million people in Ukraine are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin as the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community as a whole, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia that affect virtually every industry, from banking to sports.

The UN confirmed today that 3,811 civilians have died and 4,278 have been injured, stressing that the real numbers could be much higher and will only be known when besieged cities or areas where heavy fighting has been hitherto have been accessed.

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Russia threatens to seize Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and proposes to annex the region – Obozrevatel

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Russia wants to withdraw from Ukraine its largest nuclear power plant in Europe in Zaporozhye, occupied by the Russian army, if Kyiv does not pay Moscow for the generated electricity, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said on Wednesday.

This statement joins other statements made by the Russian authorities in recent weeks that suggest that Russia is preparing a long-term occupation or even annexation of territories it controls in southern Ukraine: Kherson region and a significant part of Zaporozhye.

If the energy system of Ukraine is ready to accept and pay, [a central] may return [às mãos] from Ukraine. if [a Ucrânia] will not accept, (the plant) will go to Russia,” Khusnullin said during a visit to the nuclear facility on Wednesday, quoted this Thursday by Russian news agencies.

“We have a lot of experience with nuclear power plants, we have companies in Russia that have such experience, there is no doubt that (the one in Zaporozhye) will continue to work,” he said.

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The Ukrainian Atomic Energy Agency Energoatom assured this Thursday morning that the nuclear power plant continues to supply electricity to Ukraine.

Russians “they do not have the technical ability to supply energy from the Zaporozhye NPP”assured the press secretary of “Energoatom” Leonid Oleinik, whose words are quoted by the French news agency AFP.

“It takes time and money. It’s like building a bridge in the Crimea. And in a month or two, we will return Ukrainian control over everything,” he added.

According to the spokesman, “no one will have to buy anything from them. [russos]”.

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Oliynik also assured that Russia does not have the ability to cut off electricity to the regions of Ukraine not controlled by Russia, if only because “all the necessary equipment is under the control of Ukraine.”

In 2021, that is, before the start of the Russian offensive against Ukraine on February 24, the Zaporozhye NPP produced 20% of the annual electricity production in Ukraine and 47% of the Ukrainian nuclear fleet.

Marat Khusnullin further stated that Russia remains in this region of Ukraine, which apparently implies the annexation of the zone.

“I believe that the future of this region is to work in a friendly Russian family. That’s why I came here to help integration as much as possible,” said the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

Russian and pro-Russian officials stationed in Ukraine by Moscow also said last week that the Ukrainian region Kherson is likely to be annexed to Russia.

Russia is preparing referendums in Kherson and Zaporozhye, Ukrainian authorities said

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