Helsingin Sanomat
May 16, 2022

Sweden applies for NATO membership, aiming to submit an application at the same time as Finland

On Sunday, Finland made the decision to apply for membership of the military alliance NATO. Sweden made the same decision on Monday.

Haavisto on Sweden’s NATO decision: “Feels very good”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Green Party) praises Sweden’s decision on Monday to apply for NATO membership.

The Swedish Government decided on Monday afternoon.

“I feel very good. And let’s say that if we were able to make a difference along the way that Sweden rushed its own decision-making and ended up with a positive conclusion, then we are satisfied with that.”

Haavisto says that he believes that the NATO process launched in Finland affected how Sweden set out to prepare for NATO membership.

Finland and Sweden can now make their NATO decisions almost simultaneously.

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Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday that Sweden’s goal is to submit an official application to NATO at the same time as Finland. It could happen on Tuesday or Wednesday. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (Social Democratic Party) has also said that the aim is to do so.

In Finland, the state leadership proposed in a report issued on Sunday that Finland would apply for NATO membership. Parliament was still debating the matter on Monday evening. A decision is expected on Tuesday.

In Haavisto’s view, it is very important that both countries now take the same decision.

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Norway, Denmark and Iceland say they are ready to support Finland and Sweden “by all necessary means” if countries are attacked during the NATO application process.

The countries made the announcement in a joint press release on Monday.

“Norway, together with Denmark and Iceland, is ready to help its northern neighbours by any means necessary if they come under attack before gaining NATO membership,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented, according to Reuters.

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