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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had blocked the move, insisting the Nordic pair change their stance on Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey considers terrorists.
By Jill Lawless and Joseph Wilson, AP
The NATO exercise BALTOPS – to be held on the Baltic Sea next week – is the latest showing of unity and military strength as Sweden and Finland trade neutrality for NATO’s embrace in the wake of Russia’s three-month-old invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. military is mulling how to increase its participation in planned military exercises with Sweden and Finland as NATO member nations consider their applications.
Finland’s president and government have announced that the Nordic country intends to apply for membership in NATO.
By Frank Jordans, The Associated Press and Jari Tanner, The Associated Press