Sweden Ends Neutrality, Joins Finland In Seeking NATO Membership

 Sweden has decided to follow neighboring Finland and apply for NATO membership, ending more than 200 years of military nonalignment because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials said Monday.


Sweden’s Prime Minister announced Monday that Sweden will join Finland in seeking NATO membership in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


The historic shift, which comes after more than 200 years of military nonalignment in the Nordic country, is likely to upset Russian President Vladimir Putin.


“We will inform NATO that we want to become a member of the alliance,” Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said.


The announcement came after a debate in Riksdagen, or Parliament, earlier Monday showed that there is a huge support for joining NATO. Out of Sweden’s eight parties, only two smaller left-leaning parties opposed it.


On Sunday, the Swedish Social Democrats broke with the party’s long-standing position that Sweden must remain nonaligned, paving the way for a clear majority for NATO membership in the parliament.


The move in Sweden came after neighboring Finland announced Sunday that it too would seek to join the 30-country alliance.


Public opinion in both countries was firmly against joining NATO before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, but support for NATO membership surged quickly after that.


What is NATO and what Countries are members?


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military and political alliance into safeguarding the security and defense of its 30 members in Europe and North America.


NATO was formed in Washington DC in April 1949 to strengthen ties between States in the face of a perceived Soviet threat. It was originally a 12-member alliance (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States); then later, Greece and Turkey (1952), Germany (1955), Spain (1982), the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017) and North Macedonia (2020).


The group's Civilian Headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium. Its general Staff is structured into the Allied Command Operation in Mons, Belgium and the Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.


NATO carried out ground, air and naval operations across the globe. Forces are operating in Kosovo and the Mediterranean. The group carries out Training in Iraq and it's also co-operating with the African Union.


NATO also fulfills activating machines for its members. The Principles of collective defense is at the heart of NATO's founding treaty. According to Article V, an attack against one member is considered an attack against all. The article was first invoked in 2001 as a sign of members solidarity as a response to the 9/11 attacks in the US.





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