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What happens if Finland and Sweden join Nato?

Finland and Sweden are poised to make a historic decision as the countries consider joining Nato. Polls have shown a surge support for the move following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Emily Tamkin in Washington, DC, and Megan Gibson in London discuss this extraordinary move and its possible consequences as Sweden’s elections approach, as well as the Ukrainian response.

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen will go head-to-head with President Emmanuel Macron in the election run off in a fortnight. Emily and Megan discuss what a potential win for Le Pen would mean for French support of Nato and the European Union.

Then in You Ask Us, a listener asks, as Finland has quite open road border linking to St Petersburg, what would be the impact if that border became a NATO defence against invasion by Russia.

If you have a You Ask Us question for the international team, email

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[See also: Will Sweden join Nato?]

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Further reading:

Alix Kroeger on why ‘Finlandisation’ is not an option for Ukraine.

Andrew Hussey on the evolution of Marine Le Pen.

Jeremy Cliffe on the new Iron curtain.

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Jeremy Cliffe on why the possibility of a Marine Le Pen victory in France is a boost for Vladimir Putin.

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[See also: Sweden’s application to join Nato marks historic shift away from neutrality]