The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has created a sense of urgency among the other countries to strengthen their defence capabilities, especially in Europe.
For example, recent reports stated that Finland and Sweden are poised to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as soon as possible.
As quoted by The Times, US officials said that NATO membership for both Nordic countries was “a topic of conversation and multiple sessions” during talks between the alliance’s foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland last week.
However, Russia has warned both nations about the potential bids. On Monday (April 11), the Kremlin said that the possible accession of Sweden and Finland to the NATO military alliance would not bring stability to Europe.
“We have repeatedly said that the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation … and its further expansion will not bring additional security to the European continent,” news agency Reuters quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.
He made the remarks to the reporters during a conference call after he was asked about the possibility of Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, has said it would be possible to allow Finland and Sweden in “quite quickly” but NATO has not commented on what a fast-track process would be.
Atlantic Council Senior Fellow, Rachel Rizzo said in case both the countries apply for membership, their accession would need to be agreed by all 30 allies.
“They work so closely with NATO in terms of exercises and in light of the Russian invasion, enhanced intelligence sharing that I do think that the relationship that NATO has already with Finland and Sweden means that there is a certain amount of protection that those two countries already have,” she said.