Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the NATO alliance on Wednesday, a decision spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but face objections from Turkey to an accession process that is expected to take only a few weeks.
"This is a historic moment which we must seize," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a short ceremony at NATO headquarters in which the Swedish and Finnish ambassadors to the alliance handed over their application letters, each in a white folder embossed with their national flag.
"I warmly welcome requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners, and your membership in NATO will increase our shared security," Stoltenberg said. The alliance believes the accession of Finland and Sweden will hugely strengthen it in the Baltic Sea. With the applications formally submitted, the Nordic countries and their many backers now face uncertain months where any resistance to their bids must be overcome, with all 30 of NATO's members needing to approve the enlargement.
Ratification by all allied parliaments could take up to a year, diplomats say.
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/fi ... 022-05-18/
Seeking to move the membership process along, Sweden's defence minister has already headed to Washington and will be followed by Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto later this week. read more
The countries hope speedy ratification by the United States, the alliance's premier power, will help smooth their path to membership with the White House having said it is confident any obstacles can be overcome.
https://www.reuters.com/world/finland-s ... 022-05-18/
Finland and Sweden will buy portable firearms and anti-tank weapons together, Finland's defence ministry said on Wednesday, as the two Nordic country's handed in their applications to join the Western military alliance NATO.
The two countries will step up their cooperation in defence procurement by Finland joining an agreement to acquire anti-tank weapons from Swedish weapons maker Saab Dynamics, a subsidiary of Saab, the ministry said.
Finland's defence minister Antti Kaikkonen also authorised preparations for a joint purchase of small fire arms including assault rifles, shotguns and arms for personal protection, the ministry said.
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