Putin's war dealt another blow as Sweden is 'ready to join Nato'
Nato's membership is set to grow further
Sweden is set to join Nato this summer, in what would be another blow to Vladimir Putin and Russia.
Countries such as Sweden have previously been reluctant to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, preferring to remain largely neutral on the international stage.
But Putin's invasion of Russia has prompted Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and other party leaders to decide that their goal is for the country to "join Nato in June this year," SVD reports.
It was recently reported that Finland were set to join the alliance, with Sweden undertaking a review of its security.
Sweden's PM Magdalena Andersson (whose Social Democrats have traditionally opposed joining NATO) has made her mind up, reports @SvD, and resolves to submit a membership application at the alliance's landmark summit in Madrid in June:https://t.co/FaEc1rb7xj
— Jeremy Cliffe (@JeremyCliffe) April 13, 2022
Russia has previously threatened Sweden and Finland with "military consequences" if either joins NATO.
Currently, Sweden and Finland are in a select group of nations that are members of the European Union but not Nato. The others are Austria, Cyprus, Ireland and Malta.
But as the two closest nations to Russia in the Arctic Circle, Sweden and Finland clearly feel more threatened by Russia after the country's invasion of Ukraine.
Remarkable turnaround. On March 8th Swedish PM said NATO bid "would further destabilise the security of this particular region of Europe". Now: "The Social Democrats' party leadership has decided. Magdalena Andersson's goal is for Sweden to join NATO in June this year." https://t.co/dJAOvkHQol
— Shashank Joshi (@shashj) April 13, 2022
It was Ukraine's desire to join the alliance that prompted Putin to invade the country, with the Russian leader framing the invasion as an act of self-defence against the alliance's expansion.
Two nearby countries choosing to join Nato because of his invasion is therefore a huge blow to Putin.
Public opinion in Finland has shifted significantly in favour of joining Nato, with the country's prime minister saying that Russia is "not the neighbour we thought it was."
If Sweden and Finland were to both join the western alliance, it would take Nato's membership to 32 nations.
Nato has made it clear that both would be welcome to join the organisation.
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