New NATO map available with Sweden joining NATO

    WORLD  28 February 2024 - 09:03

    USA Today News carries an article about Sweden which was accepted by NATO after waiting for over two years and abstaining from military alliances for over 200 years, Caliber.Az reprints the article.

    With Hungary's parliament voting to ratify Sweden's bid to join NATO, the Scandinavian nation is set to join 31 other countries in the alliance.

    After nearly two years of negotiations, Sweden follows Finland, which was accepted into NATO last year. The countries applied to join at the same time in May 2022, but Hungary and Turkey both objected to Sweden joining.

    The Nordic country's entry into NATO was momentarily paused with opposition from Turkey, but the country eventually agreed to support Sweden's bid to join the organization, according to the Associated Press.

    Sweden's final hurdle came on February 26, when Hungary at last voted to let the nation join NATO

    Why didn't Türkiye or Hungary want Sweden to join NATO?

    Türkiye previously cited Sweden's support for Kurdish separatist groups and restrictions on arms exports from the country as reasons it had reservations about its joining.

    On the other side, Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, is a right-wing nationalist who has forged close ties with Russia. The country cited criticism from Swedish politicians of Hungary’s democracy as harming relations between the two countries, leading to a reluctance among lawmakers in Orbán's party, Fidesz, to support Sweden's bid.

    Can Sweden join NATO with out Hungary's permission?

    No. All members of NATO must give their approval before another country is able to join, according to the Associated Press.

    Why is Sweden joining a big deal?

    According to reporting from USA TODAY and the AP, these are some of the reasons why:

    Their entry has been blocked for over two years

    Sweden has stayed out of military alliances for over 200 years, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine changed that. While Sweden doesn't border Russia, it is very close to it.

    Russia opposed NATO's expansion and threatened to respond if NATO tried to establish military infrastructure in Sweden or Finland, which does border Russia.

    Who are NATO's members?

    The following countries are members of NATO:

    Belgium, 1949

    Canada, 1949

    Denmark, 1949

    France, 1949

    Iceland, 1949

    Italy, 1949

    Luxembourg, 1949

    Netherlands, 1949

    Norway, 1949

    Portugal, 1949

    United Kingdom, 1949

    United States, 1949

    Greece, 1952

    Türkiye, 1952

    Germany, 1955

    Spain, 1982

    Czech Republic, 1999

    Hungary, 1999

    Poland, 1999

    Bulgaria, 2004

    Estonia, 2004

    Latvia, 2004

    Lithuania, 2004

    Romania, 2004

    Slovakia, 2004

    Slovenia, 2004

    Albania, 2009

    Croatia, 2009

    Montenegro, 2017

    The Republic of North Macedonia, 2020

    Finland, 2023

    What is NATO?

    NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is a "political and military alliance" between the 31 countries listed, and now, Sweden is joining that list.

    NATO was formed to deter the expansion of the Soviet Union, stop the renewal of nationalist militarism in Europe and encourage political integration on the continent, according to NATO's website.

    "Every day, member countries consult and take decisions on security issues at all levels and in a variety of fields," according to the website. "A 'NATO decision' is the expression of the collective will of all 31 member countries since all decisions are taken by consensus."

    Caliber.Az

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