Possible Nato membership for Finland and Sweden sparks concern in Russia

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Sweden formally announced on May 16, 2022, its intention to join neighbouring Finland in seeking Nato membership, ending more than two centuries of military non-alignment in a historic shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson warned that the Nordic country would be in a “vulnerable position” during the application period and urged her fellow citizens to brace themselves for the Russian response. Moscow has repeatedly warned of severe consequences should Finland and Sweden pursue Nato membership. But Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to downplay the significance of the move, stating Finland and Sweden’s Nato bid does not pose “an immediate threat” to Russia.

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