The Finland government officially announced joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). On the other hand, the Sweden administration followed Finland shortly after a twin development that led to a likely joint request to the NATO alliance. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24th February, the announcements from both administrations on Sunday, first by Finland and then the Swedish government, were a stunning reversal of their established and traditional policies of military non-alignment.
On Sunday, the Government of Finland proclaimed its intention to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance. And the Swedish ruling party followed soon after to do the same, which smooths the path for a likely joint request to the Western military alliance. pic.twitter.com/Gl8C2xKPxn
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During a joint news conference with Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin, President Sauli Ninnisto told reporters that this was a historic day. Furthermore, the Finnish parliament is likely to endorse the decision in the coming days. Afterward, an official membership request will be submitted to NATO headquarters. Later on, Sweden also proceeded toward a closer step to applying for NATO membership after the ruling party-backed joining the military alliance.
The Swedish governing Social Democratic Party announced its intention to join the trans-Atlantic alliance. So, the latest announcement reversed the country’s decades-long opposition to joining NATO amid growing public and political support at home after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Magdalena Andersson, the Prime Minister of Sweden, told a press conference that NATO membership would best serve the security needs of Sweden. She also said that the best thing for the security of the country and its people is to join NATO.
How to get an approved NATO membership request?
NATO membership of Finland and Sweden needs approval and ratification from all thirty members of the alliance. However, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, expressed last-minute concerns about the membership of both countries. Turkish objections focus on what it considers to be the leniency of Sweden and Finland towards the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is on the terrorist organizations’ list of the European Union.
Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, insisted that they would reach a final consensus on the two nations’ NATO bids. Finland President Sauli Niinisto said that he was ready to have a new dialogue with the Turkish President about the concerns he raised. However, Finland’s parliament will organize to discuss the NATO membership proposal on Monday. Premier Marin said that they are confident that the parliament will confirm the decision to apply for the military alliance membership in the coming days.
A considerable majority of Finnish parliament members endorsed the decision after the Social Democratic Party of Marin said that it was in favor of joining NATO. Both these nations broke their strict neutral stance after the end of the Cold War by becoming a member of the European Union and becoming partners in the NATO alliance in the 1990s, firming their affiliation with the Western countries.