BRUSSELS: After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended decades of military non-alignment, Finland and Sweden submitted their applications to join the US-led alliance NATO on Wednesday.
“The applications you have made today are an historic step. Allies will now consider the next steps on your path to NATO, ” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg remarked after receiving the proposals from the Finnish and Swedish embassies at NATO’s headquarters.
The membership drive might be NATO’s biggest major expansion in decades, doubling the alliance’s border with Russia, and President Vladimir Putin has warned that it could provoke a response from Moscow.
Turkey, a NATO member, has vowed to veto the applications, claiming that the Nordic neighbours serve as safe havens for armed organisations opposed to Ankara.
“The security interests of all allies have to be taken into account, and we are determined to work through all issues and reach rapid conclusions,” Stoltenberg said.
“All allies agree on the importance of NATO enlargement. We all agree that we must stand together, and we all agree that this is an historic moment which we must seize.“
Sri Lankan police arrests members of ruling party
Sri Lankan police detained two governing party MPs on Wednesday for allegedly...