#Finland is slowing down the #NATO application process, while #Sweden is speeding it up so the countries can do it at the same time. pic.twitter.com/UVZDNzMLrr
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 25, 2022
Sweden & Finland making joint application to NATO in 3 weeks:t.co/pJibp0D1Ua
— DEFCONWarningSystem (@DEFCONWSALERTS) April 25, 2022
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked desire to join NATO in the Nordic territories
- The two countries have remained neutral for decades, but co-operate with NATO
- Sweden’s application was previously expected to be submitted in late June
- Finland’s PM said earlier this month an application ‘would happen in weeks’
- But Swedish and Finnish newspapers today reported their respective governments have agreed to apply for NATO membership next month
Two newspapers – one Swedish, the other Finnish – have reported the governments of Sweden and Finland have agreed to submit NATO applications at the same time and that it will happen in the middle of next month.
Finnish newspaper Iltalehti said that the Swedish government has expressed a wish to Finland that they apply together in the week starting May 22 and Swedish government sources confirmed the information to Sweden’s Expressen tabloid.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to growing support in Sweden and Finland, a Russian neighbour, for joining NATO.
Though not members, both Nordic countries closely co-operate with NATO, allowing, among other things, the alliance’s troops to carry out exercises on their soil.
Helsinki and Stockholm have also substantially intensified their bilateral defence co-operation in the past years, and there was talk earlier this month that the Nordic territories could both seek to join NATO in the coming months amid Russian aggression.
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