Sweden and Finland take a “historic step” by applying to join NATO

The ambassadors of Sweden and Finland to NATO submitted their applications to join the alliance on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Transatlantic Organization.in Brussels, where they met the Secretary-General of the Allies, Jens Stoltenberg, who described the move as “historic”.

The law was passed today after the Finnish parliament approved joining the alliance and the Swedish government informed of its decision to apply to join that organisation. Finnish diplomat Klaus Korhonen and Swedish diplomat Axel Wernhoff hand-delivered their countries’ applications to join NATO to Stoltenberg, with the Allies Secretary-General later describing the requests as a “historic step”.

“Today’s applications are a historic step,” Stoltenberg said. He added that todayGood day at a critical time for our safety.” He thanked both countries for submitting admission applications. “Every nation has the right to choose its own path,” he said in a brief statement. “Both of you made a choice after rigorous democratic processes, and I warmly welcome the applications of Finland and Sweden to join NATO.”

He stressed that Helsinki and Stockholm are the “closest partners” of the alliance, adding that their entry into the transatlantic organization “will increase our common security.” “Allies will now consider the next steps on your path to NATO. The security interests of all allies must be taken into account and we are determined to solve all problems and reach quick conclusions,” he said.

Turkey, a member of NATO, announced its opposition To the entry of Sweden and Finland into the alliance because it believes that both countries maintain a policy of welcoming Kurdish militants. The accession of new members to the alliance is a decision taken unanimously by the countries of the transatlantic organization, so Ankara’s approval is required. In any case, The United States has already expressed confidence that Turkey can finally give the green light to enter the Scandinavian countries.

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Stoltenberg noted that in recent days there have been announcements from NATO members that they pledge to protect the security of Finland and Sweden. These announcements respond to concerns about a hypothetical attack by Russia against these countries between when they apply to join the alliance until they become full members.

“NATO is already vigilant in the Baltic region and NATO and allied forces will continue to adapt as needed. All Allies agree on the importance of NATO expansion. We all agree that we must stay together and that this is a historic moment, and we must take advantage of it,” said Stoltenberg.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to apply to join the alliance, thus abandoning their traditional neutrality.

accelerated process

After submitting applications for Finnish and Swedish membership, the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s highest decision-making body, which includes member states, will meet to discuss Helsinki and Stockholm’s requests. This meeting is likely to take place today.

Depending on how talks develop between allies in the North Atlantic Council, Finland and Sweden will be invited to start accession negotiations at NATO headquarters.

These negotiations are meetings between representatives of NATO, Finland and Sweden on the two countries’ ability to meet the requirements for membership in the transatlantic organization.

If today’s North Atlantic Council meeting goes well, accession talks could start on Thursday or Friday and continue for a day or two.

After these negotiations, it was time for NATO members to sign and ratify the protocols for joining the Finland-Sweden alliance.

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The processes for ratification of accession protocols differ from country to country. While the US requires the approval of two-thirds of its members of the Senate, a formal vote in Parliament in the UK is not necessary.

After the allies’ endorsement, the NATO Secretary General invited potential new members to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, from which the alliance was born.

The invited countries then join NATO according to their national procedures, and once Finland and Sweden deposit their accession documents with the US State Department, they officially become members of NATO.

Although it is not known how long the whole process will take in the case of Finland and Sweden, the intention is for both Nordic countries to become full members of NATO quickly.

Russia says it can repay the debt in rubles

Russia will pay its foreign debt in rubles, if the exception of the United States allowing it to do so in dollars is not renewed until the 25th and does not intend to declare any suspension of payments.Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said today.

“We will not announce any suspension of payments. We have money,” the minister was quoted by Interfax as saying at the “New Knowledge” educational conference.

“On May 25, our license for the right to pay foreign debts (in dollars) expires. On the 26th they will say that we do not have this right, and after that they will say that Russia has not paid its debts,” he said.

He stressed that “we will pay foreign investors in rubles if they shut down our Western infrastructure” to do so in dollars.

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Bloomberg reported that the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) The United States will likely allow the exemption license that was approved shortly after the imposition of US sanctions on Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine to expire..

This permission allowed Russia to pay interest and avoid defaulting on its government debt.

So far, it has managed to avoid a suspension of payments after at the end of April it managed to pay two Eurobond coupons due in 2022 and 2024 for 649.2 million US dollars at the last minute after resorting to its reserves in this currency.

He first tried to pay the interest in rubles through the Russian depository entity NSD, which was rejected by the international depository Euroclear.

As of February 1, the country’s total external public debt was $59.5 billion, including $38.97 billion for foreign loans in bonds.

In total, Russia currently has 15 active bonds with maturities from 2022 to 2047.

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