Monday March 20, 2023
Finland, Sweden submit NATO membership applications
Published : 18 May 2022, 12:06
Updated : 18 May 2022, 12:13
Finland and Sweden on Wednesday formally submitted their applications for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
Finland's ambassador to NATO Klaus Korhonen and his Swedish counterpart Axel Wernhoff submitted the two application letters together to NATO headquarters in Brussels in the morning.
“Today (Wednesday), Finland and Sweden hand in letters expressing their countries’ interest to apply for NATO membership to Jens Stoltenberg,” Mission of Finland to NATO wrote in a twitter post in the morning, terming the day as historic.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described the submission of applications together as a historic moment in European security and politics.
"I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners," Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after receiving the bids.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson from a joint press conference in Stockholm announced that Finland and Sweden will jointly submit their applications for NATO membership at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow would respond if the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would deploy military infrastructure on the territories of Finland or Sweden.
However, the main obstacle to Finland and Sweden's membership comes from within the alliance.
Turkey claims that both Sweden and Finland have provided a refuge for Kurdish groups it labels "terrorists," and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists Ankara will not approve the expansion.
He also said that there is no need for Finnish and Swedish diplomatic delegations to visit Turkey if they are coming to convince Ankara of their NATO bid, reported Xinhua.
Any bid to join NATO must be agreed upon by all 30 members of the alliance.