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Sweden and Finland Formally Request NATO Membership

HeadlineMay 16, 2022

Leaders of Sweden and Finland have formally announced that they will seek to join NATO within days, ending decades of neutrality. If accepted, Sweden and Finland would become the 31st and 32nd nations in NATO. Finland shares an 830-mile border with Russia, which has warned both countries it would be a “grave mistake” to join NATO. On Saturday, Russia cut off electricity to Finland — Russia had provided Finland with about 10% of its electricity. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson spoke on Sunday.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson: “Today the Social Democratic Party has concluded that Sweden should join NATO. Our 200-year long-standing policy of military nonalignment has served Sweden well, but the issue at hand is whether military nonalignment will keep serving us well. And Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is not only illegal and indefensible, it also undermines the European security order that Sweden builds its security on.”

Turkey, which is a member of NATO, has voiced concern over Finland and Sweden joining the military alliance, but it is not expected to veto their membership. Turkey has long accused Sweden of supporting the PKK, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is banned in Turkey. 

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