NATO formally extended an invitation to Finland and Sweden to join the Atlantic alliance after weeks of negotiations Wednesday, increasing the blocs membership to 32 countries. The flags of NATO member countries are seen ahead of NATO foreign ministers meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. The agreement was signed Tuesday during a NATO meeting in Brussels. Last modified on Wed 18 May 2022 04.01 EDT. During talks among the organization's 30 member nations last week, U.S. officials said that NATO membership for the Nordic countries was the topic of conversation. Foreign ministers from both Sweden and Finland attended the NATO sessions. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called the formal invitation from the alliance to Sweden and Finland to join the defense bloc a "historic decision." Sweden and Finland joined the European Union together in 1995 and gradually aligned their defense policies with the West, while still avoiding joining NATO outright. Sandwiched between Russia and NATO ally Norway, both Sweden and Finland have maintained neutrality in global conflicts. The two nations also have close working relationships and military interoperability with NATO militaries. When NATO was established in 1949, two years into the Cold War, Finland and Sweden did not join. Wed 18 May 2022 03.28 EDT. - The US on May 18 gave its full support for Sweden and Finland's bids to join NATO, promising to stand by them if threatened by Russia and pressing Turkey to Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN. Willingness to settle international, ethnic or external territorial disputes by peaceful means, commitment to the rule of law and human rights, and democratic control of armed forcesAbility to contribute to the organization's defence and missionsDevotion of sufficient resources to armed forces to be able to meet the commitments of membershipMore items The most striking aspect of Sweden and Finland's application to join NATO. Vladimir Putin has warned Russia will respond in kind if Nato sets up infrastructure in Sweden and Finland. Specifically, NATO allies must have a plan for defending the two countries. When NATO alliance members meet in Madrid this week, one of the featured agenda items is Finland and Swedens request to officially join the alliance. Sweden and Finland took another step toward joining NATO on Tuesday after the 30-country alliance formally signed off on their membership bids and set the stage to bring the long-neutral Nordic nation NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it was a historic day "for Finland, for Sweden, for NATO and for Euro-Atlantic security.". MORE: Sweden, Finland apply to join NATO in response to Putin's invasion The request must be approved by all of NATO's 30 member countries, making Erdogan's objection a potential headache. Finland, which shares a 1,340km (830-mile) border with Russia and, like Sweden, is a Nato partner after abandoning its position of strict neutrality at The fact that Sweden and Finland petitioned to join the defensive alliance is a The Russian despot issued the chilling threat after the As Finland joins NATO, Russia could seek to deploy more troops along the Russian-Finland border and further thin-out an already attenuated Russian army.

Sweden and Finland have taken another step in joining NATO, meaning only a formal ratification of their accession agreement is now left. It was NATO's 30 allies signed an accession protocol for Finland and Sweden on Tuesday, allowing them to join the nuclear-armed alliance once Stay up to speed on all the latest local and national political news. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attends a ceremony to mark Sweden's and Finland's application for membership in Brussels, Belgium, May NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the door is open for Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after That changed in Finland and Sweden applied to join the alliance in May in response to Russias invasion of Ukraine, a process that Nato officials said was likely to be approved in weeks. JUST WATCHED BRUSSELS The 30 NATO allies signed off on the accession protocols for Sweden and Finland on Tuesday, sending the membership bids of Why is Sweden not in NATO? Sweden. In 1949 Sweden chose not to join NATO and declared a security policy aiming for non-alignment in peace and neutrality in war. As such, the Swedish government decided not to participate in the membership of NATO because they wanted to remain neutral in a potential war. THE SOURCESNATOBrookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization in Washington, D.C.Embassy of Ukraine to the United Kingdom Public opinion in Finland has swung in favor of joining NATO since Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 24, with polls showing 62% of Finns want

NATO's 30 allies today signed an accession protocol for Finland and Sweden to allow them to join the nuclear-armed alliance once allied parliaments ratify the decision. Finland and Sweden on Wednesday morning (18 May 2022) simultaneously handed in their official letters of application to join NATO. NATOs 30 members have signed an agreement that permits Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance. Sweden and Finland both first applied to join NATO in May, moving away from decades of neutrality after Russia invaded Ukraine. Updated 8:32 PM ET, Wed May 18, 2022 . Canada has become the first country to ratify Sweden's and Finland's requests to join NATO, bringing the two countries closer to full membership. London NATO's 30 ambassadors on Tuesday signed accession protocols for Sweden and Finland to join the transatlantic military alliance. The start of the ratification process was announced by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and it comes just days after the nuclear-armed alliance formally invited Finland and Sweden and Finland inched closer to joining NATO on Tuesday as ambassadors for all 30 member nations signed accession protocols for the two Nordic states to join the alliance. NATO requires member states to invest 2% of GDP in defence, a figure Finland surpasses at 2.2%, spending $6.1bn per year by the end of 2022. However, there is work to do for Sweden, which spends just 1.3% currently. The spokesperson's remarks come as the NATO allies were set to formally approve the historic decision made during last week's NATO summit to Which countries are members of Nato?Albania (2009)Belgium (1949)Canada (1949)Croatia (2009)Czech Republic (1999)Denmark (1949)Estonia (2004)France (1949)Germany (1955)Greece (1952)More items Finland Finland is expected to submit its application for membership in June, with Sweden to follow. Sweden and Finland both announced their intention to join NATO in May, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused a sudden shift in attitudes toward joining the bloc. April 10 (Reuters) - Russia has made a "massive strategic blunder" as Finland and Sweden look poised to join NATO as early as the summer, The Times reported on MADRID, June 28 (Reuters) - Turkey has agreed to support Finland and Sweden's bids for NATO membership, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday. More recently that has risen further with over 50

Finland shares a 1,300km (807-mile) border with Russia and gained independence from the nation in 1917. While political momentum may make these membership bids inevitable, the ultimate effects of bringing Finland and Sweden into the alliance depend on making sober decisions before they enter. Polling in Finland found 53 percent in favour of NATO membership and 41 percent in Sweden. In joining NATO, Finland adds its 24,000 active troops, 100 warplanes and scores of warships to the alliance, while Sweden adds its own 15,000 active troops plus similar numbers of planes and ships.