Sweden and Finland’s journey from neutral to Nato

Sweden and Finland are both joining Nato – a monumental shift for two nations with a long history of wartime neutrality and staying out of military alliances. During a Nato summit in Madrid, they overcame what is likely to be the final obstacle – objections by Turkey.

Russia strongly opposes the two states joining and has used the expansion of the West’s defensive military alliance as a pretext for its war in Ukraine.

Both countries have held neutral status for years, but since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine support for Nato membership has risen dramatically.

Vladimir Putin’s actions have shattered a long-standing sense of stability in northern Europe, leaving Sweden and Finland feeling vulnerable.

Finnish ex-Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said joining the alliance was a “done deal” for his country as soon as Russian troops invaded Ukraine on 24 February.



Article URL : https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61397478