With Finland and Sweden getting ready on the idea of joining NATO, the US on Sunday called it a direct result of Russia’s full-scale military operation in Ukraine. Despite receiving multiple threats from Russia, Helinski and Stockholm have agreed to decide on joining the military alliance as soon as the middle of the summer.
The matter remained a “topic of concern during multiple sessions” amid the NATO Foreign Minister meeting, that took place last week, US State Department officials said, as they are banking on the alliance’s growth from 30 to 32 members.
Whereas Washington expects Finland’s application by June after Flemish Prime Minister Sanna Martin earlier that the membership is in discussion in the Parliament.
Mentioning the security situation in eastern Europe, Martin said Finland will arrive at a decision “in the coming week.” Sweden is expected to follow suit soon after. Mentioning the atrocities of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Martin also flagged that it was the time for her nation to “seriously reconsider” its stance on joining the bloc.
At the same time, Sweden has started its security policy review to ascertain the risks as well as benefits, which is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
Earlier, Swedish PM Magdalena Andersson said that Stockholm did not “rule out NATO membership in any way.” However, both the nations are reportedly building domestic consensus and will make the final decision independently, an official noted.
According to the reports, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova had earlier made a statement that Finland & Sweden “should not base their security on damaging the security of other nation and their accession to NATO can have detrimental outcomes and face some military and political consequences.”
NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has disclosed that the developments come as the bloc was getting ready to deploy permanent full-scale military in Eastern Europe in a bid to stand ready in repelling further Russian invasion.
Around 40,000 troops are ready to be sent for the eastern flank, which is over ten times compared to months ago amid the Russian invasion. Stoltenberg hopes that the final decision for the repositions will be made when NATO leaders will meet for the June summit in Madrid.