UK welcomes Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership plans

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Sweden and Finland confirmed they would launch formal NATO bids this afternoon and the UK has welcomed their announcements.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

The UK strongly supports applications for NATO membership from Finland and Sweden. They should be integrated into the Alliance as soon as possible; their accession will strengthen the collective security of Europe.

We look forward to working with them as new NATO Allies and stand ready to offer them our every assistance during the accession process.

Our mutual security declarations signed with Sweden and Finland last week by the Prime Minister demonstrate our steadfast and unequivocal commitment to both countries during this process and beyond.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states (28 European states, the United States and Canada).

Established in the aftermath of World War II, the organisation implements the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed on 4 April 1949.

NATO is a system of collective security: its independent member states agree to defend each other against attacks by third parties. It was established during the Cold War in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. The alliance remained in place after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and has been involved in military operations in the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. The NATO headquarters is located in Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.

NATO currently recognises Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Ukraine as aspiring members. 

Enlargement has led to tensions with non-member Russia, which is one of the 20 additional countries that participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme. Another 15 countries are involved in institutionalised dialogue programmes with NATO.

The current 30 members are:

  • ALBANIA (2009)
  • BELGIUM (1949)
  • BULGARIA (2004)
  • CANADA (1949)
  • CROATIA (2009)
  • CZECH REPUBLIC (1999)
  • DENMARK (1949)
  • ESTONIA (2004)
  • FRANCE (1949)
  • GERMANY (1955)
  • GREECE (1952)
  • HUNGARY (1999)
  • ICELAND (1949)
  • ITALY (1949)
  • LATVIA (2004)
  • LITHUANIA (2004)
  • LUXEMBOURG (1949)
  • MONTENEGRO (2017)
  • NETHERLANDS (1949)
  • NORTH MACEDONIA (2020)
  • NORWAY (1949)
  • POLAND (1999)
  • PORTUGAL (1949)
  • ROMANIA (2004)
  • SLOVAKIA (2004)
  • SLOVENIA (2004)
  • SPAIN (1982)
  • TURKEY (1952)
  • THE UNITED KINGDOM (1949)
  • THE UNITED STATES (1949)

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