Consequences of the Ukraine war: Sweden and Finland want to join NATO

Status: 04/26/2022 07:58 a.m

NATO could soon expand its circle of members: According to media reports, Finland and Sweden want to join the alliance. The war against Ukraine had led to a rethink in both countries.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in a change of heart towards NATO in Finland and Sweden. According to consistent media reports, both countries now want to join the defense alliance.

The Finnish and Swedish governments are said to have agreed on a joint application for NATO membership. This was reported by both the Finnish newspaper “Iltalehti” and the Swedish newspaper “Expressen”, which cites information from government circles. The application should therefore be submitted in the week of May 16th to 22nd.

Both countries have worked closely with NATO in the past, but have so far refused to join. The Social Democrats in power in Sweden have always referred to their own country’s neutrality in the alliance.

Approval for accession is growing in both countries

But with the start of the Russian war against Ukraine, a rethink began in Finland and Sweden. Support for NATO membership grew among the populations of both countries. According to surveys by the opinion research institute Novus, more than half of the residents in Sweden are now in favor of joining. In Finland it is even more than 60 percent of the population.

Stoltenberg promises quick admission

In Finland, the parliamentary debate on possible NATO membership has already begun. MEPs must agree to such a move. Sweden also wants to open the debate earlier. The basis for this is a security analysis which, according to Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, should be available earlier than originally planned.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had promised Finland and Sweden quick membership if they applied for membership. Russia, on the other hand, warned both countries against deciding to join NATO.

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