Finland and Sweden formally apply to join NATO alliance
Finland and Sweden have officially submitted their application on Wednesday to join NATO military alliance, according to joint news conference.
President of Finland Sauli Niinisto attended the conference with Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson, as this move driven by security concerns in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said.
Stoltenberg announced that the applications will review by the 30 member countries of the NATO alliance.
The applications might delay as a result of objections from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If Erdogan’s objections are overcome so it expected that the process takes about two weeks.
The objection rooted in Sweden and Finland’s support for members of Kurdish militant groups, and their decisions in 2019 to ban arms export on Ankara over Turkey’s military operations in Syria.
NATO wants to move quickly given the threat from Russia hanging over the Nordic countries’ heads, as the joining process usually takes eight to twelve months.
Finland and Sweden are NATO’s closest partners. They have functioning democracies, well-funded armed forces and contribute to the alliance’s military operations and air policing.