The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Finland and Sweden formally apply for NATO membership

By Emily Rauhala

18 May 2022 · 4 min read

Finland and Sweden on Wednesday submitted letters formally expressing interest in joining NATO, a historic moment for two countries that held fast to military nonalignment until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended their thinking about security.

The delivery of the letters to the alliance’s Brussels headquarters marks the start of an accession process that could take months, but that is ultimately expected to result in an expansion of NATO from 30 to 32 members, remaking Europe’s post-Cold War security architecture along the way.

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