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Sweden, Finland Submit Applications To Join NATO Amid Ukraine-Russia War

May 18, 2022

These two European countries made this known via formal applications submitted to NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg.

Swedish and Finnish ambassadors have formally expressed their interest to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
These two European countries made this known via formal applications submitted to NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg.

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Accepting the applications at NATO headquarters in Brussels, as captured in an online video ceremony on Wednesday, Stoltenberg described the move as a “historic step” in a “critical moment” for European security against the backdrop of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Stoltenberg said the union would evaluate the membership bid as soon as possible, but the security interests of all associates “have to be taken into account.”
The NATO chief referred to recent objections from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday. He said he would not agree to the accession of two countries that sanctioned his country.
Stoltenberg explained that both nations support “terrorist organisations, a reference to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish militia People’s Defence Units (YPG) in Syria.
NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European states, the United States, and Canada. Established in the aftermath of World War II on the insistence of the Truman administration in the United States, the organisation implements the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed on 4 April 1949.
Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.
NATO currently recognises Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine as aspiring members.
Enlargement has led to tensions with non-member Russia, which is one of the 20 additional countries that participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace programme. Another 15 countries are involved in institutionalised dialogue programmes with NATO.
The combined military spending of all NATO members in 2020 constituted over 57 per cent of the global nominal total. Members agreed that they aim to reach or maintain the target defence spending of at least 2 per cent of their GDP by 2024.

 
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