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Finland and Sweden submit NATO membership applications.

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gCFUBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPANghoAAdDezQoAAAAASUVORK5CYII= Finland and Sweden submit NATO membership applications.
TOPSHOT – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg poses with application documents presented by Finland’s Ambassador to NATO Klaus Korhonen and Sweden’s Ambassador to NATO Axel Wernhoff during a ceremony to mark Sweden’s and Finland’s application for membership in Brussels, on May 18, 2022. – Finland and Sweden submitted their applications for NATO membership on May 18, 2022 and consultations were underway between the Allies to lift Turkey’s opposition to the integration of the two Nordic countries into the Alliance. (Photo by JOHANNA GERON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNA GERON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that Finland and Sweden have officially applied to join the world’s biggest military alliance.

The step is taken under security concerns over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners,” Stoltenberg told reporters after receiving their application letters from the two Nordic countries’ ambassadors. “This is a good day at a critical moment for our security.”

Stoltenberg said that NATO allies “are determined to work through all issues and reach rapid conclusions.”

“All allies agree on the importance of NATO enlargement. We all agree that we must stand together, and we all agree that this is a historic moment which we must seize,” he told reporters, at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Generally, the process would take up to 8-12 months, but this time NATO wants to process quickly. So the two countries would become NATO members within a few months.

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