According to Helsingin Sanomat, citing sources, countries must decide on membership in the alliance on May 15. They can apply early next week
Finland and Sweden plan to apply for NATO membership at the same time early next week, writes Helsingin Sanomat, citing sources.
Filing at the same time or on the same day would indicate agreement between the two countries and a desire to protect each other, HS notes.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin should speak out about the country's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance 12 May. They are expected to make a decision on the application on May 15.
In Sweden, the decision on this matter is made by the government, led by the Social Democratic Labor Party. It should also announce this on May 15th.
Throughout the spring, the countries checked each other's charts; Helsinki's efforts were aimed at persuading Stockholm to simultaneously resolve the issue of joining NATO, the publication points out.
In mid-April, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet wrote about Sweden's plans to apply for membership in the alliance in early June. According to the publication's sources, the decision has already been made by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. Then the head of the Finnish government spoke in a similar way.
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised both countries “relatively quickly” accept them into the ranks of the block if they wish to join.
Both Finland and Sweden have previously said they won't rush into a decision. However, according to Niinistö, the turning point for Helsinki was Russia's demands for security guarantees, including the rejection of NATO's eastward advance. He believes that in this way Russia wanted to limit the choice of his country. In addition, the military operations in Ukraine have also changed the security sphere, Marin noted. According to her, “there is no turning back.”
Now Sweden and Finland have the status of states— NATO partners. 30 countries are members of the bloc, including Denmark and Norway.
According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, the entry of previously neutral Finland and Sweden into the alliance will lead to undesirable consequences and a radical change in the military-political situation, which can be avoided if they maintain the status quo. Both states, having joined NATO, “will become a space of confrontation between the North Atlantic bloc and Russia, with all the ensuing consequences, including for our time-tested good neighborly relations,” said the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova.
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