The potential entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO should serve as a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the alliance remains ready to accept new countries, and Putin himself, who demanded NATO's refusal to expand, achieved the opposite with the war in Ukraine.
This was stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a press conference following the signing of a memorandum between Finland, Sweden and Turkey.. Until yesterday, Turkey was the only NATO country opposed to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance.
If Finland and Sweden are admitted to NATO, it will "change the whole situation in the Baltic region": they will "cover" Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia and strengthen the bloc's presence in the region, Stoltenberg says.
Sweden and Finland officially announced in mid-May that they intended to apply for NATO membership.. The decision to abandon the previous policy of neutrality was prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
For a country to join NATO, all three dozen countries that are members of the alliance must support its application.