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Ukraine war

Finland and Sweden submit NATO applications

Nordic nations' accession process expected to take only a few weeks

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Sweden's Ambassador to NATO Axel Wernhoff shake hands in Brussels, Belgium, on May 18 as Russia's war in Ukraine hastens Scandinavia's bids to join the military alliance.   © Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the NATO alliance on Wednesday at allied headquarters, a decision spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but face objections from Turkey to an accession process that is expected to take only a few weeks.

Neutral throughout the Cold War, Sweden's and Finland's decision to join NATO is one of the most significant changes in Europe's security architecture for decades, reflecting a sweeping shift in public opinion in the Nordic region since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion.

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