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Prospect of Finland and Sweden joining NATO discussed at NATO meeting -US Official | world news

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The prospect of Finland and Sweden joining NATO was part of talks among military alliance foreign ministers in Brussels this week, a senior department official said on Thursday. of American state.

“Obviously, those will be the choices these countries have to make,” the official said, telling reporters on condition of anonymity.

“The alliance’s open door remains open and there have been discussions about this potential candidacy,” the official said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which it says is aimed, among other things, at degrading Ukraine’s military potential and preventing it from becoming a beachhead for a NATO attack, has prompted two Nordic countries to consider joining the US-led alliance.

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Since the start of the invasion on February 24, opinion polls commissioned by the Finnish media have shown a rapid turnaround, with the majority of Finns now supporting NATO membership.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters earlier that Finland would clarify the next steps in the coming weeks regarding a possible decision to apply for NATO membership.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, Russia would have to “rebalance the situation” with its own measures.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Franklin Paul and Grant McCool)

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