In a historic change of events, after a 14-hour debate, Finland had decided with 188 votes to apply for NATO. Only 8 Finnish MPs were against applying to become a North Atlantic treaty organization member. Additionally, only three MPs were absent for this vote. In a landslide, the country’s government almost unanimously agreed that joining NATO would be in their best interest ending decades of neutrality between the east and the West. In addition, 212 speeches were made in parliament during the 14-hour session before the vote was held.
After Finland made its historic vote, Sweden too applied to join NATO. The applications were made on May 18th of, 2022. Klaus Korhonen will be the ambassador of Finland to NATO, and Axel Wernhoff will be the ambassador of Sweden to NATO.
Finland and Sweden have formally handed in applications to join NATO, ending decades of neutrality https://t.co/d793BQMOYn
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 18, 2022
President Biden was quick to welcome Finland and Sweden into NATO and acknowledge this historic president. He said that he looked forward to welcoming president Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson to Washington on May 19th so that they could continue to discuss their application to NATO.
I strongly support the historic applications from Finland and Sweden for membership in NATO. I look forward to welcoming President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson to Washington tomorrow so that we can further discuss their applications and European security.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 18, 2022
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The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, also endorse Finland and Sweden’s application to NATO. He expressed his support over Twitter and promised to help both countries through the process.
We wholeheartedly endorse Finland and Sweden’s application to NATO. As a close friend and security partner, Canada will support both countries through the accession process. My statement: https://t.co/ZX6zcqxwhI
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 18, 2022
All those most countries leaders were very supportive of the move for Sweden and Finland to apply to become a part of NATO, notably there was one country leader who was not supportive of this move. The Turkish president Erdogan said that he would not allow either of the countries to join NATO because they support alleged terrorist groups which posed a threat to his country’s national security it has been reported. It’s unclear if Turkey actually has veto power by itself in this matter for applicants to NATO.
⚡️ Erdogan blocks accession of Sweden, Finland to NATO.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he won’t allow either of the countries to join NATO because they support “terrorist groups” that pose a threat to the country’s national security.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) May 18, 2022
— Rusif Huseynov (@RusifHuseynov2) May 18, 2022
The few people who did speak out strongly against Sweden and Finland joining NATO brought up history from the Second World War. During that war, Finland was taken over by the Nazis and was essentially occupied by Germany. They claimed that Finland made a deal with eastern powers after World War Two and that Finland joining NATO was breaking that deal.
Others argue that by encouraging Finland to join NATO, leaders in the West and the US, in particular, were encouraging war with countries in the east. Specifically, one country has a 2000-mile border with Finland and is currently at war with another country that is not a NATO member.
Although this may irritate the eastern countries that Finland and Sweden have applied to join NATO, each nation is sovereign and has the right to ask for acceptance if they feel it is in their best interest. It’s up to the member states of NATO whether or not Sweden and Finland are accepted. The overwhelming response to this historical application to NATO for Finland and Sweden has been supported and accepted by most country leaders. It is expected that Finland and Sweden should be admitted into the membership of NATO within months.
Although it is certainly understandable that Finland and Sweden would like to join NATO, it is unfortunate that this may be seen as a threat to eastern nations and aggravate those nations further. We should seek keys whenever possible and avoid foreign entanglements in America at least. But, unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be how the world is going.