NATO prepares to add Sweden and Finland as members
May 16, 2022 - Sweden and Finland have confirmed they will apply for Nato membership in a historic shift that comes as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia has warned of “consequences”.
Gathering in Berlin over the weekend, most NATO foreign ministers embraced the bloc’s northern enlargement, a process that requires unanimity among the 30 allies. The one country to voice concerns was Turkey, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu unhappy that Finland and, particularly, Sweden have had relations with Kurdish militants who have been active in eastern Turkey, according to Bloomberg.
Once the formal applications have been submitted, NATO has to decide whether to consider the request. It will then hold talks with the countries on their obligations as members before the NATO council signs a potential accession protocol. The lengthiest step is ratification by the 30 national parliaments and the whole process could take as long as a year, Bloomberg said.