Turkey, Hungary put Finland on course to join NATO

ANKARA-Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended months of diplomatically charged delays on Saturday and asked parliament to quickly back Finland’s bid to join NATO.

A simultaneous decision by fellow holdout Hungary to schedule a Finnish ratification vote for March 27 means the US-led defence alliance will likely grow to 31 nations within a few months. NATO’s expansion into a country with a 1,340-kilometre (830-mile) border with Russia will roughly double the length of the bloc’s current frontier with its Cold War-era foe.  Finland had initially aimed to join together with fellow NATO aspirant Sweden -- a Nordic power facing a litany of disputes with Turkey that ultimately sunk its chance to join the bloc before an alliance summit in July.

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