NATO adds two new members

The US-led bloc has formally invited and to join

has officially invited former non-aligned Sweden and Finland to join its ranks.

“Today, we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO, and have agreed to sign the accession protocols,” the military bloc said in a statement on Wednesday during its summit in Madrid, .

The two Nordic states decided to abandon their long-standing tradition of nominal neutrality after sent troops to at the end of February.

Shortly before the invitation was announced, NATO Secretary General described Sweden’s and Finland’s path towards membership as “unparalleled”.

The decision to admit the two Nordic nations must now be approved by the parliaments of all 30 member states.

“It always takes some time. But me [also] expects that it will go fairly quickly “, said Stoltenberg, adding that the bloc is” ready “to have the ratification done as soon as possible.

Sweden and Finland signed an agreement with on Tuesday, paving the way for the invitation. had previously said they would block their membership and accused the Nordic states of harboring people with links to Kurdish organizations, which Turkey considers terrorist groups.

Russian President Vladimir Putin cited NATO’s expansion to the east and attempts to establish a “foothold” in Ukraine as one of the causes of the conflict in the country.



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