Russia Ukraine War Live: Finland must apply to join the Nato military alliance “without delay”, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday, a major policy shift triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s armed forces’ general staff said it had recaptured Pytomnyk, a village on the main highway north of the second-largest city of Kharkiv, about halfway to the Russian border.
Finland and Sweden are expected to be granted membership quickly, paving the way for increased troop presence in the Nordic region during the one-year ratification period. In the wider Nordic region, Norway, Denmark and the three Baltic states are already Nato members, and the addition of Finland and Sweden would likely anger Moscow, which says Nato enlargement is a direct threat to its own security.
In other news, Moscow has imposed sanctions on the owner of the Polish part of the Yamal pipeline that carries Russian gas to Europe, as well as the former German unit of the Russian gas producer Gazprom, whose subsidiaries service Europe’s gas consumption. Energy prices rose as the European Union weighs a possible embargo on Russian crude.