The possibility of any success in Iraqi mediation    Flight from cities due to COVID-19 short-lived, says flagship UN-Habitat report    A visionary 'blue transformation' strategy to enhance underwater food systems    With 41% Increase in 5G Towers, CITC Announces Full ICT Readiness to Serve Pilgrims Ahead of 2022 Hajj Season    Agricultural Development Fund Receives Delegation from IFAD    Supreme Court: Tomorrow is 1st Day of Dhu Al-Hijjah    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Receives Written Message from Emir of Qatar    Saudi, Chinese envoys discuss cooperation to reduce climate change    Saudis constitute 63.6% of 34 million population; 8.6% fall in number of expats by middle of 2021    Iraqi pilgrim arrives in Makkah, walking on foot for 11 months from Britain to perform Hajj    DGDA launches multi-course 'Program Your Passion' initiative    SR10,000 fine for bid to perform Hajj without permit    Five era-defining artworks commissioned for iconic new cultural destination 'Wadi AlFann'    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 11,727 Points    UN rights office in probe call after Morocco-Spain migrant deaths, Texas tragedy    ZATCA denies rumors on VAT exemption certificate    GDNC Foils Attempt to Smuggle over 3.5 Million Amphetamine Pills    Health Minister Launches "Holodoctor" Service for Pilgrims    Saudi Arabia's new companies' law highly flexible, embraces international best practices    Trump urged armed supporters to storm Capitol, aide testifies    Mawani Meets ISO Standards in Risk Management and Business Continuity Management    Over 312,000 Pilgrims Arrived in Madinah    HRH Crown Prince Congratulates President of Democratic Republic of Congo on Independence Day    Red Sea Fund Opens Its Third Cycle for Production Funding    Saudi Arabia Participates in UN Ocean Conference in Portugal    SFDA warns against herbal product 'Montalin Jamu' due to containing active medicinal ingredients    SFDA Warns Against Herbal Product "Montalin Jamu" Due to Containing Active Medicinal Ingredients    OIC Secretary General Meets Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan    Al-Hilal lifts MBS League title for 3rd time in a row, beating Al-Faisaly    Al-Ahli relegated for first time in history    Ithra expands 'iRead' competition to participants from all Arab countries    Saudi Arabia's women's badminton championship begins with participation of 60 players    NEOM, McLaren Racing announce strategic title partnership to drive innovation in electric motorsport    Morocco and Iraq to the finals of Arab Futsal in Dammam on Tuesday    Saudi US Joint Exhibition on Photography Concludes in Tabuk    Venice-based art exhibition sheds light on upcoming Saudi talents    Makkah Municipality offers animal sacrifices permitting service through Baladi platform    First Saudi-American Joint Exhibition of Photography held in Tabuk Region    FIFA Accredits Saudi Football Association Among Expert Federations in VAR Tech    Jeddah is Set to Host the Finals of World Boxing in August, Organizers Announce    Saudi National Olympic Team Crowned AFC U23 Asian Cup    Samrat Prithviraj: Why did a Bollywood film on a popular Hindu king fail?    Saudi Council of Senior Scholars slams Indian ruling party leader's remarks against Prophet    Drug charges dropped against Shah Rukh Khan's son    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Finland and Sweden submit formal bids to join NATO
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 18 - 05 - 2022

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hailed an "historic moment" on Wednesday after Finland and Sweden formally submitted their applications to join the military alliance.
The seismic shift from long-held neutrality -- which has popular support in both countries -- was spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners," Stoltenberg said.
"All allies agree on the importance of NATO enlargement. We all agree that we must stand together, and we all agree that this is an historic moment which we must seize."
"This is a good day at a critical moment for our security," a beaming Stoltenberg said, as he stood alongside Finland's and Sweden's ambassadors to NATO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded the alliance stop expanding toward Russia's borders, and several NATO allies, led by the United States and Britain, have signalled that they stand ready to provide security support to Finland and Sweden should he try to provoke or destabilise them during the time it takes to become full members.
The countries will only benefit from NATO's Article 5 security guarantee -- the part of the alliance's founding treaty that pledges that any attack on one member would be considered an attack on them all -- once the membership ratification process is concluded, likely in a few months.
The move is one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of the war and will rewrite Europe's security map. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed it in a tweet and said that "Putin's appalling ambitions have transformed the geopolitical contours of our continent".
For now, though, the application must be weighed by the 30 member countries. That process is expected to take about two weeks, although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed reservations about Finland and Sweden joining.
If his objections are overcome, and accession talks go as well as expected, the two could become members soon. The process usually takes eight to 12 months, but NATO wants to move quickly given the threat from Russia hanging over the Nordic countries' heads.
Canada, for example, says that it expects to ratify their accession protocol in just a few days — while in the Baltic region, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted: "I encourage a rapid accession process. We in Estonia will do our part fast."
Stoltenberg said that NATO allies "are determined to work through all issues and reach rapid conclusions."
The fact that the Nordic partners applied together means they won't be losing time by having to ratify each other's membership applications.
"That Sweden and Finland go hand in hand is a strength. Now the process of joining the talks continues," Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde told the Swedish news agency TT.
It shouldn't take long to win approval in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Their prime ministers issued a joint statement on Wednesday saying that they "fully endorse and warmly welcome the historic decisions" taken in Helsinki and Stockholm.
Public opinion in Finland and Sweden has shifted massively in favour of membership since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.
Finland and Sweden already cooperate closely with NATO. They have functioning democracies, well-funded armed forces and contribute to the alliance's military operations and air policing. Any obstacles they face will merely be of a technical, or possibly political nature.
NATO's membership process is not formalized, and the steps can vary. But first, their requests to join will be examined in a sitting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) of the 30 member countries, probably at the ambassador level.
The NAC will decide whether to move toward membership and what steps must be taken to achieve it. This mostly depends on how well aligned the candidate countries are with NATO political, military and legal standards, and whether they contribute to security in the North Atlantic area. This should pose no substantial problem for Finland and Sweden.
Moving forward, during accession talks that could be concluded in just one day once the terms of those negotiations are set, the two will be asked to commit to uphold Article 5 and to meet spending obligations concerning the NATO in-house budget, which runs to around $2.5 billion dollars, split proportionally among what would be 32 member countries.
Finland and Sweden would also be made aware of their role in NATO defence planning, and of any other legal or security obligations they might have, like the vetting of personnel and handling of classified information. — Euronews


Clic here to read the story from its source.