Sweden and Finland Announce Their Official Applications for NATO Membership on the Same Day objected by Turkey

Triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there was a growing voice and willingness to accede to NATO in Finland and Sweden. Both countries had pursued a long-established policy of military non-alignment. After several rounds of internal advisory procedures, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto announced on May 15th that his country would apply for NATO membership.

A few hours later, Swedish Social Democrats also released a statement, saying Sweden would formally apply to join NATO, following Finland. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson condemned Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine as illegal and unjustifiable. She believed Sweden needed formal security guarantees with NATO membership on the grounds. She could not exclude the possibility of Russia taking similar military actions against her country.

Mircea Geoana, NATO Deputy General Secretary, committed to making every effort to expedite the processing of Swedish and Finnish applications, calling both countries two closest partners of NATO.

In this regard, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was no conflict between Russia and the two Nordic countries, and their accession to NATO posed no direct threat to Russia. However, NATO’s expansion of military infrastructure into their territories would certainly provoke Moscow’s response. Sweden and Finland have already met several criteria for NATO membership, including well-established democracy, equal treatment of ethnic minorities, a commitment to peaceful dispute resolution, and capabilities to make military contributions to NATO’s operations.

Nevertheless, only after the unanimous ratification of all 30 current members could they become a member state, which puts Turkey’s position in the spotlight. Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on May 16th his objections to the Swedish and Finnish NATO membership application. He accused that the two Nordic countries of harboring Kurdish terrorist organizations, which thereby couldn’t win Turkish trust. There has been a longstanding dispute between Turkey and the two candidates.

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Translator MOS Buddhism Team – Accelerator
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