Finland and Sweden formally applied for NATO in Brussels on Wednesday, boosted by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to break away from the neutral nations that had been maintained during and since the Cold War.
NATO Secretary-General Jason Stoltenberg said it was a “historic moment” and warmly welcomed the two countries’ welcome to the world’s largest military alliance.
“You are our closest partner and NATO membership enhances our shared security,” Stoltemberg said in a short ceremony where the Swedish and Finnish ambassadors handed over their applications. rice field Embossed white folder With their national flag.
NATO believes that Finland and Sweden’s member states are strengthening their strengths in the Baltic region.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is uncertain about the membership of Finland and Sweden, but Stoltemberg said Wednesday that he “decided to resolve all issues and reach swift conclusions.” Stated.
He said their membership has gained strong support from all other allies.
According to the ABC report, 30 member countries will expedite applications in a process that is expected to take approximately 30 days. Final approval can take several months, and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine speeds up the normal 12-month process.
Canada is expected to ratify it in the next few days.
Finland and Sweden remain uncoordinated with NATO, despite their strong partners. However, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the public opinion of the Nordic countries has been greatly inclined.
Finland shares a 810 mile long border with Russia. The New York Times reported that Finnish President Saulininist said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine “changed everything” for countries that previously believed that “inconsistency would bring us stability.”
He said Finland can no longer afford to be a bystander.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said joining NATO would be “no problem with these states” if the country had no military threats, and said it was unusually calm on Monday when responding to imminent membership. Reuters reported.
But he told the leader of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of Russia-controlled former Soviet nations, “The expansion of military infrastructure into this territory certainly provokes our response. Let’s … what is that? ” [response] Will — we will see what threats are created for us. “
CSTO includes countries such as Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Putin’s recent reaction is in stark contrast to his previous comments on the expansion of the alliance. In fact, he cites NATO’s eastern expansion as one of the main reasons for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Naveen Athrappully contributed to this report.