Finland officially announced on Sunday its intention to join the Atlantic Alliance, while its Swedish neighbor is about to make the same decision. With the war in Ukraine, support for NATO integration grew among the populations of the two countries, quickly becoming the majority.
After decades spent on the sidelines of military alliances, Finland announced on Sunday May 15 its candidacy for NATO, and Sweden could follow. Both countries are worried about what their big neighbor Russia might do after the invasion of Ukraine that began in February.
For decades, most Swedes and Finns have stuck to their long policy of military non-alignment.
But the invasion of Ukraine on February 24 marked a major turning point, especially for Finland, which shares a border of nearly 1,300 kilometers with Russia.
While support for joining NATO has hovered around 20 to 30% for 20 years, the latest polls now suggest that more than 70% of Finns and 50% of Swedes support membership.
In both countries, many parties have been or are in the process of changing their position on the issue. In the Finnish Parliament, a river majority of at least 85% in favor of membership is emerging.
In Sweden, the Social Democratic Party, historically opposed to joining NATO, decides this Sunday, with a green light paving the way for a candidacy of the country.