BERLIN — A senior NATO official said Sunday that Russia’s military advance in Ukraine appears to be faltering and he expressed hope that Kyiv can win the war, as Russia’s neighbor Finland announced it wants to join the Western military alliance.
Top NATO diplomats are meeting Sunday in Berlin to discuss providing further support to Ukraine and moves by Finland, Sweden and others to join NATO in the face of threats from Russia.
“The brutal invasion (by) Russia is losing momentum,” NATO Deputy-Secretary General Mircea Geoana told reporters. “We know that with the bravery of the Ukrainian people and army, and with our help, Ukraine can win this war.”
The president and government of Finland announced Sunday that the previously neutral Nordic country that shares a long border with Russia intends apply for membership in NATO, paving the way for the 30-member Western military alliance to expand.
President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement at a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.
“This is a historic day. A new era begins,” Niinisto said.
The Finnish Parliament is expected to endorse the decision in coming days, but it is considered a formality.