The second Scandinavian country has asked to join NATO, a military alliance of 30 countries opposed by Russia.
Sweden joins Finland to formally apply to join the alliance. Membership in the alliance involves the provision of military assistance in the event of an attack on a member.
The accession of Sweden and Finland could further upset the Kremlin, which seeks to weaken NATO.
These steps by Sweden and Finland came after Russia invaded non-NATO Ukraine. If Ukraine were a member of NATO, other countries of the alliance would be obliged to ensure the protection of the nation.
While Turkey has expressed reservations about expanding the alliance to include Finland, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has expressed confidence that NATO members will accept the country.
“Turkey has made it clear that they do not intend to block membership. And so I am confident that we will be able to resolve the issues raised by Turkey in a way that does not delay membership or the accession process.”
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