Finland's ruling Social Democratic Party has endorsed the plan for making the country a member of the NATO military alliance.
The endorsement was made on Saturday by the Party Council, the highest decision-making body between party conventions, which are held every two years, reports Xinhua news agency.
Joining NATO was backed by 53 members, while five voted against and two blank, the Council chair Sirpa Paatero told the media.
Party chair, Prime Minister Sanna Marin had on May 12 announced her support for Finland going to NATO in a joint statement with President Sauli Niinisto.
Also, the parliamentary group of the Social Democrats on Saturday expressed support for the would-be Finnish membership in NATO.
According to media reports, two of the party's 40 MPs are expected to vote against it in the parliamentary plenary.
Following the official decision by the social democrats, only the Left Alliance, out of the major parties in Finland, has not taken a decision in favour of NATO.