The United States says it is confident it can allay Finland and Sweden’s security concerns if they decide to join NATO. White House spokesman Jen Psaki did not say how the United States wanted to do this. Sweden had previously said yesterday that America had given the country security guarantees, without going into that.
Finland and Sweden are expected to apply for NATO membership this month. Once they become members, so does Article 5 of the NATO Charter. This means that an attack on a member state is understood as an attack on all member states. So Article 5 has a deterrent effect on countries that might want to invade a NATO member state.
However, there is a period between the NATO membership application and the actual accession. All NATO member states must endorse the application for a new member state. In the meantime, Article 5 does not yet apply, leaving the state vulnerable. So Finland and Sweden are looking for ways to ensure their security in the transition period between application and accession.
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said yesterday that more NATO soldiers would be deployed along the Swedish border if the country applied for NATO membership. NATO will also expand its presence in the Baltic Sea at that time. According to Stoltenberg, NATO has a “strong obligation” to ensure Sweden’s security from the moment the application is submitted.
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