Sweden and Finland, two traditionally non-aligned countries, are moving decisively closer to joining NATO, a step that, if approved, would put an end to their neutrality status and open a new chapter in the alliance’s eastward expansion.
The Nordic U-turn comes barely two months after Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine and forever changed the continent’s balance of powers.
“We have to really think through what is best for Sweden and our security and our peace in this new situation,” said Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in a recent joint press conference with her Finnish counterpart, Sanna Marin.
“The change in the security landscape makes it necessary to analyse how we best secure peace for Finland and in our region in the future,” Marin remarked.
Since its creation back in 1949, the Atlantic alliance has been based on an “open door policy” but there are strict criteria that candidates must meet to become part of the 30-strong group.
What exactly are the steps to join NATO?
Watch the video explainer above to learn more about the NATO accession process.