Finland և Sweden could join US-led military alliance in months, The Times reports
Finland և Sweden could join NATO this summer in response to Moscow’s ongoing military attack on Ukraine, according to a report published by the British newspaper The Times on Monday.
Finland’s application to join the bloc is expected to be submitted in June, shortly after which Sweden will follow up with anonymous US officials. told the British newspaper.
The possible membership of the two Scandinavian countries was a “topic of conversation և multiple meetings” at a NATO foreign ministers’ summit in Brussels last week, sources said. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and his Swedish counterpart Anne Lind were present at the two-day talks.
According to the European diplomat, in the words of Helsinki, Stockholm “will be real feathers on the head of NATO as net investors”, especially in terms of intelligence gathering and air power capabilities.
Russia, Finland և Sweden all have access to the Baltic Sea, and the total Russian-Finnish land border is 1340 km.
A senior US official has said that Russia’s attack on Ukraine was a “massive strategic mistake” [Russia’s President Vladimir] “Putin,” because it made Helsinki and Stockholm question their policy of not joining a military alliance.
Moscow opposes NATO enlargement, but the inclusion of Finland and Sweden in the alliance will not pose an existential threat to it, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sky News on Friday. But Russia must “make its western wing more difficult in terms of ensuring our security,” if such a step takes place, he said.
“NATO is adapted for confrontation, the main purpose of its existence is to confront our country,” Peskov said.
Finland must decide on its application for NATO membership “thoroughly but quickly,” Prime Minister Sanna Marin said earlier this month. “Russia is not the crisis we thought it was,” he said.
“I do not rule out NATO membership in any way,” said her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Anderson in late March.
Both Helsinki and Stockholm have stated that they are now reviewing their security policies. The Finnish review is expected to be completed in mid-April, and the Swedish review in late May.
Earlier, the Finnish Foreign Minister suggested that if the country finally decides to join the alliance, it may take four to 12 months for the parliaments of the 30 NATO member states to formally approve the application.
However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted that “the decision to welcome Finland to NATO can be made very quickly; ratification is a formal process in the capitals or parliaments.”
Russia launched a large-scale offensive against Ukraine in late February after Ki refused to comply with the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, after Russia finally recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk Donbass republics. The Minsk Protocol, mediated by Germany and France, was called to regulate the status of the regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine formally declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Ki claims that the Russian attack was completely unfounded, denied the allegations that he planned to retake the two rebel districts by force.
The media has clarified the schedule of NATO’s new expansion
SourceThe media has clarified the schedule of NATO’s new expansion