Leaders from Sweden and Finland have indicated that they could apply to join NATO in mid-May, according to reports from Finnish and Swedish news outlets.

When will the alliance take place? If the countries’ decisions to join NATO are finalized, they will submit membership applications on the same day, although no fixed day has been decided, according to Iltalehti, a Finnish news outlet.

  • The countries’ leaders plan to meet the week of May 16, and will then publicly announce their decision, according to Reuters.

Scandinavia reexamines their neutrality policy: The Scandinavian countries have had a long track record of military neutrality, according to BBC News, but “‘everything had changed’ when Russia attacked Ukraine,” said Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin. She told reporters that Helsinki must be “prepared for all kinds of actions from Russia.”

Is the U.S. doing enough to help Ukraine fight Russia? See what Utahns think in new poll
Perspective: Ukraine has always fought to survive. So has my family
‘We came to nowhere. We know nothing’: The plight of the refugee in Poland filled with both good and bad
  • Finland shares 830 miles of border with Russia. If the country were to join NATO, the decision would result in “increased tensions on the border between Finland and Russia,” BBC reported.

De facto NATO members: During the application process, the United States and Britain have promised Sweden increased military presence and protection, and “strong political support from NATO countries,” according to Reuters.

View Comments

Support for NATO increases: The BBC states that Russia sees NATO as a threat, and invaded Ukraine in an attempt to prevent the country from joining the alliance.

  • Although Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Ukraine won’t be joining NATO any time soon, per The New York Times, the invasion has changed the public outlook on the alliance within other countries.
  • Opinion polls in Finland state that since Russia’s invasion, support for joining NATO has increased from 28% in February to 68% last month, according to the BBC.
Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.