Finland announced Thursday it is applying to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Sweden is expected to quickly follow, which could expand the Western military alliance to 32 nations. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long been opposed to NATO expansion — even citing it as one of the reasons for his invasion of Ukraine. Further cornered by Finland's NATO aims and facing a fierce fight on the battlefield in Ukraine, Russia has pulled the trigger on another weapon in its arsenal: effectively cutting off gas supplies to Europe, a day after the Ukrainian government halted gas transfers through its territory. Ukrainian forces have . . . read the full article here.