Sweden has signed an application declaring it wants to join NATO.
This is despite a strong opposition from Turkey and disagreement with Russia over the move.
Signing the application is a formal step by Stockholm toward joining the military alliance.
The signing also ended years of military neutrality and this move, according to Swedish, became imperative following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“It feels very big, very serious, and it feels like we have arrived at a conclusion which is the best for Sweden,” Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Tuesday after signing the application.
She said that having signed the document, it may take up to one year before their application is considered.
“Now this week, this application will be submitted, together with Finland, in a day or so, and then it will be processed by NATO.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin had said he was not bothered about the two nations joining NATO, adding that the move is not a threat to his country, but warned that military expansion into the territory will “certainly cause our response.”
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Swedish and Finnish delegations should not bother coming to Turkey to try to convince Turkey to approve the country’s NATO membership. He accused the two countries of dinning with terrorists and even allowing them (terrorists) to speak in the Parliaments.