NATO membership for Finland and Sweden

NATO membership for Finland and Sweden

News: Finland and Sweden have shown interest to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Why Finland and Sweden are not NATO members?
• Finland has stayed out of such alliances because it always wanted to maintain cordial relations with its neighbor, Russia.
• However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and growing hostility in the region has prompted the Finns to have a re-think about their existing policies and a change in approach was indeed the need of the hour.
• As far as Sweden is concerned they did not join the alliance so far due to ideological reasons.

How would the membership impact and benefit NATO?
• Being a member of NATO will give the nations a security guarantee under the alliance’s ‘Article 5’ on collective defence. The article essentially guarantees a military response and protection by NATO countries if any member of the organisation comes under attack.
• It would strengthen NATO’s presence in the region of Baltic Sea. Once Finland joins the alliance, the length of borders Russia shares with NATO would double.
• The move would counter Russia’s aggression. It would mean that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was counterproductive and it only strengthens Western Unity and military preparedness.

How have other nations reacted to recent developments?
• Russia threatened to take military measures if the membership goes through and warned Finland to be aware of the consequences of this move.
• Turkey opposes Finland and Sweden joining NATO. The Turkish government claimed that it could use its membership in the Western alliance to veto moves to admit the two nations.
• The Turkish government cited Sweden and other Scandinavian countries for supporting Kurdish militants and other groups it considers terrorist.
• European countries and US have welcomed the announcement. Norway and Denmark have said they will push for NATO admission faster. The US also extended support by claiming that it is ready to provide necessary military support until they formally join the alliance. 

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