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Sweden, Finland can start applying to join NATO in May

Sheet Iltalehti in Finland and Expressen In Sweden, both countries cite sources as saying that the two countries will begin the process of applying to join NATO in May.

Still follow Reuters, before that, despite tightening cooperation with the NATO military alliance since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the Nordic countries chose to stay out. But Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine seems to make Sweden and Finland want to test whether their longstanding military neutrality is still the best way to ensure national security. are not.

Sweden, Finland can start applying to join NATO in May - January

Swedish Prime Minister Andersson and Finnish Prime Minister Marin on April 13. (Photo: Reuters)

Also follow Iltalehti, The leaders of Finland and Sweden are expected to meet around May 16 and then publicly announce their plans to join the union. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto declined to comment on the report, but reiterated that he expected Finland and Sweden to make the same choices.

Meanwhile, the Swedish daily Aftonbladet reported separately, citing sources close to the Swedish government office, that the US and UK had promised Sweden an increased military presence, intensive military exercises and support.” politically strong” from NATO countries during the country’s application for accession.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the press reports.

Two weeks ago, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, while visiting her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson, said she expected Finland to make a decision on whether to join NATO within the next few weeks.

Stockholm is conducting a review of its security policy, including possible NATO membership, and plans to announce the results by mid-May. In addition, members of Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats are also reconsidering their longstanding opposition to joining NATO. They are expected to release results by May 24 at the latest.

In another development, a NATO warship arrived in Finland for military training.

The Finnish Defense Forces said minesweepers from Latvia’s LVNS Virsaitis, Estonia’s ENS Sakala and the Netherlands’ HNLMS Schiedam will train with two ships from the Finnish fleet.

The two-day exercise, scheduled to begin April 28, will prepare Finnish ships to join NATO’s response force in 2022 and focus on “Measures against mines and operations within a multinational framework”, according to the statements.

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