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Finland and Sweden formally submitted their bids for NATO membership on Wednesday morning, casting aside decades of strategic neutrality to embrace the military alliance in a stunningly swift transformation prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Finnish and Swedish envoys delivered letters expressing their nations’ interest in joining NATO to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. Stoltenberg has said that NATO would seek to admit both nations in a fast-track process.

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