Finland and Sweden in NATO – level 3

20-05-2022 07:00

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have strongly considered applying for NATO membership.

Finnish President Sauli Niisto confirmed that Finland would apply to join NATO, while Sweden’s government announced an official policy change that may start Sweden’s application. Sweden would be the only Nordic outsider if it didn’t apply, since Norway, Denmark, and Iceland joined NATO as founding members.

NATO ratification can take a year as the parliaments of all 30 NATO countries need to approve new members. Some countries announced that they would hurry the process; however, recently Turkey surprised its allies when it said it had reservations about Finnish and Swedish membership.

Finland and Sweden want guarantees that NATO will defend them while the application process is underway. Russia repeatedly warned of serious consequences if the nations join NATO ratification.

Difficult words: ratification (the process to vote and give formal approval of an agreement), reservation (a doubt; a reason to disagree), underway (in progress).

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