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Finland, Sweden submit bid to join NATO despite Russia’s warning

Finland, Sweden submit bid to join NATO despite Russia’s warning
May 18
15:26 2022

Sweden and Finland have submitted bids to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Envoys of the two European countries, Axel Wernhoff and Klaus Korhonen, delivered their expression of interest letters to Jen Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of NATO, on Wednesday.

Receiving the letters from them, Stoltenberg said the two nations are important in the enlargement of the organisation, adding that NATO will endeavour to fast-track the process of admitting them.

“I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners,” Stoltenberg said.

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 “All allies agree on the importance of NATO enlargement. We all agree that we must stand together, and we all agree that this is an historic moment which we must seize. This is a good day at a critical moment for our security.”

Their admittance into the organisation will increase NATO’s membership to 32 nations.

Finland and Sweden have remained militarily nonaligned for almost two decades, but the move to join NATO came as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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On Tuesday, Sauli Niinisto, Finland’s president, said the country had thought its nonalignment with NATO would provide stability but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed everything.

“We believed that nonalignment would give us stability, but Russia’s invasion has changed everything,” he had said.

On April 14, TheCable reported that Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said if the two countries join the US-led military alliance, there could be no more talk of a “nuclear-free” Baltic.

He said Russia will have no choice but to strengthen its land, naval, and air forces in the Baltic Sea.

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