Finland and Sweden have submitted a formal application to join NATO, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday morning, calling the declaration of intent to join a historic step and believing that the two countries’ application for membership could be accepted quickly, which he said. will increase the security of the military alliance.
Jens Stoltenberg Klaus Korhonen from Finland and Axel Wernhoff from Sweden received documents on the application for membership from the NATO ambassador in Brussels, the headquarters of the military alliance.
The Secretary-General said that all members of the military alliance agreed on the importance of NATO enlargement and the unity of its member states. “I warmly welcome the application of Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners, ”he said.
He stated that the declaration of intent to join had taken place at a significant moment and expressed his hope that the process would be completed soon.
“It’s a historic moment we need to seize”
– said Stoltenberg, adding that every nation has the right to choose the path it wants to take.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) last expanded two years ago, and on 27 March 2020, Northern Macedonia became the 30th member of NATO. The South Slavic state was invited to the start of accession talks at the NATO summit in June 2018, which was conditional on the conclusion of its name dispute with Greece.
NATO was founded in Washington on April 4, 1949, during the Cold War arms race. Founding members included the United States, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Iceland, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Italy, and Portugal.
Hungary, along with the Czech Republic and Poland, joined the military bloc in 1999.