The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) invited Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance in one of the biggest shifts in European security in decades.



  • At a recently held summit in Madrid, NATO has formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.
  • This is seen as one of the biggest shifts in European security in decades after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed both the countries to drop their tradition of neutrality.
  • Until now, Finland and Sweden followed the policy of strict neutrality between Moscow and the West. They took neutral positions on matters on which the Soviet Union and the West disagreed.
  • However, recent invasion of Russia in Ukraine forced these countries to drop their tradition of neutrality.


About the NATO

  • Formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty, NATO is a security alliance of 30 countries from North America and Europe.
  • NATO’s fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means.
  • It is a system of collective defence where independent member states agree for mutual defence in case of any attack by external party.
  • Article 5 of the Washington Treaty states that an attack against one Ally is an attack against all.
  • This article forms the core of the Alliance, a promise of collective defence.
  • It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Functions —
      • Political – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
      • Military – NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations.