Can Sweden and Finland join NATO? Can Turkey be thrown out of NATO? – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

The last few days have NRK Responds received a number of questions about NATO.

Sweden and Finland submitted applications on Wednesday to join NATO. But there is no automaticity in them being allowed to join the alliance. All 30 NATO members must agree to it.

Here you can read some questions and the experts’ answers.

How big is the danger in Sweden and Finland now?

Many ask questions about the security of our two neighboring countries before they eventually become NATO members.

– It is important that the applications were submitted well in advance of NATO’s summit in Madrid from 29 to 30 June, says Bjørn Olav Knutsen. He is chief researcher at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment.

During the summit, heads of state and government will discuss the way forward.

What can happen now is that some NATO countries issue security guarantees to Sweden and Finland. According to Knutsen, this can be a deterrent to Russia.

The countries are also members of the EU. This means that they are cooperating with NATO.

– What makes NATO membership different, of course, is that it includes the United States. It is still the most powerful military power in the world, says the professor Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv.

On Wednesday, NATO received NATO applications from Finland and Sweden. Here is Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with NATO Ambassadors Klaus Korhonen and Axel Wernhoff.


Can NATO expand in the east?

NATO was established in 1949. 12 countries participated from the start.

– The alliance had three primary tasks: To keep Russia out, the Americans in and the Germans down, says Tanja Ellingsen, associate professor of political science at Nord University.

There are historical arguments that the alliance should not be expanded to the east.

Soviet Union and

A former military and security alliance between the Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Eastern Turkey. During the Cold War, the Alliance was the eastern counterpart to the Western countries’ defense alliance, the Atlantic Treaty (NATO). It was signed on 14 May 1955, and dissolved on 1 July 1991. Source: Large Norwegian encyclopedia

“data-term =” Warszawapakten “> Warszawapakten disbanded in 1991. But NATO survived, largely because of Germany. Many feared a united Germany, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, says Ellingsen:

However, Mikhail Gorbachev feared a neutral Germany more than a united one, which meant that even Russia did not want NATO to disintegrate.


Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the Soviet Union. He feared a neutral Germany.

Foto: Marcy Nighswander / Ap

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Agreement signed on 12 September 1990 by the Foreign Ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany, the GDR, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The agreement sealed the foreign policy aspects of the reunification of Germany.

Among other things, the agreement stipulated that a reunited Germany would be part of NATO.


“data-term =” Two plus four agreement “> Two plus four agreement was signed in 1990. It says nothing about future NATO expansion to the east. Ellingsen points out that there has nevertheless been one expectation in the agreement that NATO will not expand to the east.

Can Turkey be thrown out of NATO?

Turkey has blocked the first step in The NATO process for Sweden and Finland. Now many wonder if Turkey can be excluded from NATO.

It’s not that simple. NATO can not just remove a member, Professor Gjørv explains:

– In other words, it has become practice to use diplomacy to influence the member, or wait for “it to pass”.

She adds that it is rarely wise to reject members.

– Inclusion and negotiation play a very important role now.

Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv

Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv is a professor of security studies at UiT, the Norwegian Arctic University.

Photo: Kristina Kalinina / NRK

What happens in Norway if Sweden and Finland join?

The Norwegian defense and its organization will probably change if our two neighboring countries join NATO. Key words here are closer cooperation and community.

Iver Neumann, director at Fridtjof Nansen’s Institute, says the great fear for Norway has been to stay alene with Russia in the north.

– With Finland and Sweden as members, this risk is much, much less. Thus, the three countries can share deterrent and reassuring tasks among themselves. Less falls on Norway, says Neumann.

A NATO flag is flown outside the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels

Norway has been a NATO member since 1949.

Photo: YVES HERMAN / Reuters

Has Russia made a solid belly splash?

Ukraine’s desire to join NATO should be an important reason for Russia’s invasion.

Sweden and Finland have now applied for membership. The alliance can stay bigger than it was before the war broke out.

Pål Skedsmo, senior researcher at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, believes that the war has obviously not gone the way Putin and Russia thought. Neither the warfare itself nor the reactions from Western countries.

– The West has probably been more united in its response than Putin envisioned. And it is a nose thief that Finland and Sweden want to join NATO.

At the same time, Skedsmo points out that a united front from the West does not necessarily include the «rest».

Russia’s warfare probably has more support in China and in Latin America than we completely get.

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