Swedish foreign minister signs bid for NATO membership

TEHRAN, May 17 (MNA) – Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde has signed a bid for the country’s accession to NATO.

"This seems to be something big and serious, as if we have made up our mind about what best of all suits Sweden," the SVT broadcaster quoted the Swedish foreign minister as saying.

Sweden will file its bid for NATO membership together with Finland’s application, she said.

The Swedish foreign minister said that she expected the document to be examined and ratified within 12 months.

The Swedish government made a decision on filing a bid for the country’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on May 16.

The British media 'Mirror' claimed that the Russian forces have begun moving nuclear-capable missiles towards its border with Finland after Helsinki formally announced its bid to join NATO.

On Sunday evening, Finland and Sweden's leaders confirmed their intention to join NATO.

The two countries previously had decades of military non-alignment, but will now formally submit a joint membership application to the 30-member alliance as soon as the decisions are ratified by their respective governments.

Russian state television previously said that Moscow would deploy nuclear weapons to its European borders should Nordic nations Finland and Sweden set up military bases on their territory. "When NATO bases appear in Sweden and Finland, Russia will have no choice but to neutralise the imbalance and new threat by deploying tactical nuclear weapons.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly warned both countries against joining NATO, saying the move obliges Russia to strengthen its defences in the Baltic Sea region.

ZZ/ PR

News Code 186894

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