Finland regions

After Finland, Sweden announces its candidacy for NATO; Items from Turkey

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist (L) and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde present an analysis of security policy at a press conference in Stockholm (AFP)

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s NATO membership would boost national security and help stabilize the Nordic and Baltic regions, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Friday, a day after neighboring Finland said that would seek to join the US-led alliance without delay.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced Sweden – and its closest military partner Finland – to publicly choose sides after staying out of the military alliance since its inception in 1949 to counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Stockholm is expected to follow Helsinki’s lead and could apply for membership of the 30-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization as early as Monday.
“Sweden’s membership in NATO would raise the threshold for military conflict and thus have a conflict-preventing effect in northern Europe,” Linde told reporters as she presented the findings of a multi-party security review which examined the pros and cons of NATO membership for Sweden. . “The most important consequence of Sweden joining NATO would be that Sweden would be part of the collective security of NATO and be included in the security guarantees in accordance with…Article 5.”
Article 5 of the founding treaty of NATO stipulates that an attack against any NATO country must be considered an attack against all.
However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was “not in favor” of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, indicating that Turkey could use its NATO membership to oppose its veto on the admission of the two countries. The Turkish leader explained his opposition by citing the alleged support of Sweden and other Scandinavian countries for Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers terrorists. He did not say categorically that he would block any attempt by the two Nordic countries to join. However, NATO makes all its decisions by consensus, which means that each of the 30 member countries has a potential veto over who can join.

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