You Vote: If you were president, would you support Finland and Sweden joining NATO?

The Nordic countries have officially applied to join the alliance, breaking decades of neutrality.

Updated: May 18, 2022 - 2:42pm

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Finland and Sweden on Wednesday formally applied for NATO membership, breaking with a decades-long defense doctrine of staying out of formal military alliances while maintaining partnerships and cooperation with Western countries.

Finnish Ambassador to NATO Klaus Korhonen and his Swedish counterpart Axel Wernhoff handed the applications to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, according to reports.

"This is a good day at a critical moment for our security," said Stoltenberg. "Thank you so much for handing over the applications for Finland and Sweden's membership in NATO. Every nation has the right to choose its own path. You have both made your choice after thorough democratic process and I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO."

If the Nordic countries' bid to join NATO is approved, it would give the alliance an edge against Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine appears to have spurred Wednesday's move. Finland and Sweden hope NATO membership can deter Russian aggression on their soil.

However, NATO membership is a multi-step process, which includes all current member states ratifying accession protocols that permit the invited countries to become parties to the so-called Washington Treaty, the legal basis for NATO.

Critics argue expanding NATO will only further anger and embolden Russia to act aggressively. Others argue a larger NATO will more effectively deter the Kremlin.

What do you think? Should the U.S. support NATO membership for Finland and Sweden? Here's your chance to weigh in:

If you were president, would you support Finland and Sweden joining NATO?

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