According to reports, both Sweden and Finland could submit applications for Nato membership as early as mid-May.
As the possibility of Russian attack looms, Sweden and Finland are both looking to join the Nato alliance, with applications expected within the next month.
You’ve probably heard the word Nato thrown around a fair bit over the last few week, so what is it, and what will happen if Sweden and Finland do apply to join Nato?
Put simply, Nato is an alliance of countries who have promised to support each other in the event that one of them is attacked.
The alliance was organised by the United States after the second world war, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and a list of member countries that includes Canada, Norway, Denmark, Poland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom among others.
It kicked off after World War 2 as a bit of a prevention strategy so that big countries are less inclined to target smaller nations, because they have the support of 32 others.
So hypothetically, this means that if Sweden and Finland have their Nato applications approved, and one of them were attacked by Russia, Nato backed countries would deploy troops to fight with Sweden and Finland.
Vladimir Putin has warned Sweden and Finland not to join Nato, threatening to deploy nuclear weapons if they do.
But recent opinion polls in Sweden and Finland suggest that residents are in support of Nato membership, with Sweden recording that its population are in slight favour, while Finland found that a 68 per cent majority support the move.
So despite the risks involved and the possibility of nuclear warfare, Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin has said that her country would look to join Nato “quite fast, in weeks not months”.
Finland share the largest border with Russia compared to any of its neighbours, so the threat of war is already daunting. There are also reports of Russia deploying military vehicles towards the Finnish boarder, and flying aircraft in Finland’s air space.
Ukraine are not currently Nato members, so the alliance has not sent any troops to fight against Russia, because they’re worried that would start a full-scale world war. However its members have sent weapons to Ukraine in support of their defence efforts.
In case you’re wondering, Australia is a Nato member, however we have seperate alliances with the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, the AUSCANNZUKUS strategic alliance.