Press TV, Brussels
Security experts have warned that further confrontation between the West and Russia seems inevitable as Finland looks set to become the 31st member of the NATO military alliance.
There's a growing likelihood that Sweden will also join the military alliance but the big question is: how will Moscow respond?
NATO critics say the alliance's expansion is what led to the war in Ukraine and now moves are in full swing to provoke Moscow even further.
It looks almost certain that Finland, and most probably Sweden, are to join the military bloc
Via video link, senior Helsinki officials set out their case to the European Parliament on Thursday as to why Finland would fit right in.
Sweden's Malin Bjork asked what's the rush given that her country and Finland have said they don't feel under immediate threat. However, it seems most EU lawmakers are supportive of the move.
Finland's border with Russia stretches for 1300-kilometers. Membership would mean NATO's land border with the federation would more than double.
The Kremlin has warned there will be military retaliation if the plan goes ahead, while experts are not ruling out the possibility of World War III.
The US and its European allies are spending an enormous amount of money on arming Ukraine in the war against Russia. One EU lawmaker even criticized it during Thursday's proceedings.
Analysts say it could take up to a year for Finland to fully join NATO but in the meantime, it will become a de facto member. The question is, in the event of an escalation, will it be viewed as protected or as a target?