Finland, Sweden set to join NATO as soon as summer – reports

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Russia has made a “massive strategic blunder” as Finland and Sweden look poised to join NATO as early as the summer, the British press has reported on Monday, citing officials.

London-based The Times said that the United States officials have confirmed that NATO membership for both Nordic countries was “a topic of conversation and multiple sessions” during talks between the alliance’s foreign ministers last week attended by Sweden and Finland, report added.

This news follows an important change of stance by the leader of Sweden’s second-biggest opposition party, who suggested that if Finland applies to join NATO, Sweden should take the same path. A change of stance by the Sweden Democrats party would mean a swing to a parliamentary majority in favour of long-neutral Sweden joining the alliance.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted the two countries to consider joining, although Sweden is more hesitant than Finland which has a 1,300 km border with Russia.

The Finnish government has said it would clarify next steps in the coming weeks regarding a possible decision to seek membership.

“Then (if Finland applies) my ambition is to go to the party council with a request that we change our mind,” the paper on Saturday quoted Sweden Democrats party leader Jimmie Akesson as saying in an interview.

“What’s changed now is that Finland is very clearly moving towards a NATO membership and there are many indications this may happen in the near future. That, and the fact Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, is completely alone, has made me turn.”

via Reuters

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