On Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg received Sweden and Finland’s application for membership in the military organization, a moment he described as a “historic step” and asked the allies to take advantage of for the benefit of collective security. .

In an act at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, the Finnish and Swedish ambassadors accredited to NATO, Klaus Korhonen and Axel Wernhoff, delivered the ‘letter of intent’, a document signed by the foreign ministers and which is equivalent to a request formal to enter NATO.

In a statement without questions after posing next to the Swedish and Finnish ambassadors and documents, Stoltenberg described the accession of the Scandinavian countries as a “historic step” and after assuring that the security interests of the 30 allies must be taken into account , has opted to review the candidacy soon and “reach conclusions quickly”.

“All allies agree on the importance of NATO’s expansion. We agree that we must be together and that it is a historic moment that we must seize,” the former Norwegian prime minister stressed.

Stoltenberg has defended the sovereignty of each country to make its own security decisions and choose its alliances, emphasizing the internal democratic process of both Nordic countries that has led to request their entry into the organization.

With the step taken by Helsinki and Stockholm, the process of accession to the Atlantic Alliance is formally launched. Now the candidacy is evaluated in the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s decision-making body that brings together all the allies, and which will decide whether to open access negotiations with the aspiring countries.

Finland and Sweden are the two closest partners to NATO and already participate in many of its meetings, as well as exercises and missions. It also has modern armies aligned with allied standards, so negotiations are expected to last just a few days, the longest phase being that relating to the ratification of the protocol, since ratification is different depending on the country.

Both countries are heading for an accession that could be completed in record time, even before the end of the year if there are no obstacles such as those that Turkey has already begun to put on the table, which denounces links between Sweden and Finland with the Party of the Kurdistan Workers (PKK), a Kurdish organization considered terrorist by Ankara.