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NATO confirms Finland and Sweden have applied for membership

Finnish troops train in Helsinki as their nation’s government tries to join the NATO military alliance (Photo: AFP)

Finland and Sweden have applied for NATO membership amid concerns Russiawar in Ukrainehas confirmed the military alliance.

Both Scandinavian peoples have been historically neutral and their decision to join NATO is one of the most important changes in Europe’s security for decades.

“This is a historic moment that we must seize,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg after the Swedish and Finnish ambassadors submitted their letters of request.

‘I warmly welcome requests from Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners, and your membership of NATO will increase our shared security. ‘

The applications are now triggering a connection process that is expected to take only a few weeks.

It also reflects a significant shift in public opinion against Putin’s invasion and the frequent nuclear threats coming from Moscow.

Sweden shares a maritime border with Russia, while Finland has an 810-mile (1,300 km) land border with the hostile state.

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Russia could share an enormous land border with NATO if Finland joins the military alliance (Photo: Metro)
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde signs Sweden’s NATO application (Photo: EPA)
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto signs his country’s NATO application (Photo: EPA)

NATO believes that its accession would greatly strengthen it in the Baltic Sea, but the ratification of all 30 Allied parliaments could take up to a year.

Their demands could also be derailed by Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who promised to use his fetus to block them.

Erdogan is angry at the two countries for welcoming Kurdish refugees with ties to pro-independence groups.

He even said they would not bother sending diplomats to try to change his mind, warning that NATO would become a ‘brotherhood’ for terrorists if they joined.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan (picture shaken with Putin) could block Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids (Photo: AFP / Getty)

“None of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organizations,” he said. “How can we trust them?”

However, Stoltenberg said today that he thinks the problems can be solved.

“We are determined to work through all the issues and reach swift conclusions,” he said, noting strong support from all other allies.

Contact our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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NATO confirms Finland and Sweden have applied for membership

Source link NATO confirms Finland and Sweden have applied for membership

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