The Finnish parliament has approved a draft law on joining NATO. 184 deputies voted in favor, 7 against, one "empty vote" was also cast, and another 7 deputies were absent.
For the final ratification of the bill, it must be approved by President Sauli Niinistö.
Last May, Sweden and Finland officially announced in mid-May that they would apply to join NATO. The decision to abandon the previous policy of neutrality was prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
For a country to join NATO, all three dozen countries that are members of the alliance must support its application. Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that both countries could be "accepted to NATO with open arms", but this process requires unanimity among the 30 existing members of the alliance.