Finland and Sweden apply to join NATO
Finland and Sweden officially apply to join NATO
Finland and Sweden have applied for NATO membership.
It ends decades of political neutrality for both nations, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The NATO chief said the nominations were a “historic step”.
If their candidacy is successful, this will bring the number of alliance members to 32.
While Russia strongly opposes the move, some NATO members are also expressing concern.
Nicknamed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO was founded in 1949
He follows a rule: an attack on one is an attack on all.
He sought to counter Russian expansion in Europe after World War II.
But after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many of its former Eastern European allies joined the alliance, raising concerns in Moscow.
Finland and Sweden need the support of all Member States to join. If they succeed, it will bring the alliance to 32 members.
NATO members must spend 2% of their GDP on defence. Finland is already achieving this goal and Sweden says it will do so “as soon as possible”.
Both countries will also bring a range of military power.
Finland has more than 19,000 active soldiers and Sweden more than 14,500.
There are 220 tanks and over 200 combat aircraft.
Russia believes that NATO is on the verge of stopping and warns the two countries against joining.
The Turkish president is also expressing his concerns, saying the two Scandinavian nations should not send delegations to convince him of their candidacies.