Finland and Sweden Ponder NATO Membership

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine has spurred the long-neutral Nordic countries to consider joining NATO.

  • Sweden and Finland have long maintained neutrality, abstaining from membership in NATO —the military alliance formed in 1949 to defend against the Soviet Union.
  • Ever since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, politicians in both countries have begun to reconsider that stance. Support for joining NATO in both countries has seen a huge jump.
  • This development has angered Russian leaders. Russian officials have warned the two Nordic nations that joining NATO would only further foment tensions..
  • Finland signed a bilateral “Agreement of Friendship” with Russia in 1948, and remained neutral during the Cold War. Finland also shares a 1300 km border with Russia.
  • Were Finland to become a member of NATO, it would double the land border between NATO and Russia—a prospect that wouldn’t elicit much sympathy from Moscow.
  • Diplomats from prominent NATO members such as the US, Germany, France, Canada, Lithuania, Estonia are in favor of Sweden and Finland joining the alliance.
Foreign Policy
The Washington Post
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5 articles on this topic


In Sweden and Finland, even the skeptics are coming round to NATO bids

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Finland and Sweden could soon join NATO, prompted by Russian war in Ukraine

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Why a neutral Ukraine is being discussed in peace talks

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