Russian lawmaker fantasizes about kidnapping Nato officials
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While the Ukraine-Russia war wages on, NATO and its respective member states remain largely in the spotlight. NATO has been attracting and recruiting additional members since its establishment post-World War 2 and has been at the heart of many political disputes ever since – including the current Russia-Ukraine conflict. The treaty currently comprises 30 member states and it’s only due to expand, with Finland and Sweden having just submitted applications.
NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance serving a purpose to “guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means”.
The treaty was initially launched to unite allies against a German or Soviet attack and consisted primarily of 12 western countries, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom and the United States.
The treaty has only expanded in the years since, now comprising 30 countries; 27 in Europe, two in North America, and one in Eurasia.
So, who is currently a member and is Slovakia one of them?
Is Slovakia in NATO?
Yes, the landlocked country of Slovakia joined NATO on March 29, 2004, but became a partner country as early as 1993.
From the first day of its independence in 1993, Slovakia has been described as a “netto contributor” to the peace and security in Europe.
The country took part in a number of international peacekeeping operations under the UN mandate, including the Observation Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM) and UN Protection Force in the Balkans (UNPROFOR).
When the first NATO and EU crisis management operations were deployed in the 1990s, Slovakia was ready to act as their de facto member and reliable ally.
Slovakia’s close partnership with NATO continued until 2004, when it joined the alliance in the second wave of post-Cold War enlargement, along with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovenia.
Who else is part of NATO?
The 27 European countries, the two North American countries, and the one Eurasian country with NATO membership include:
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
- United Kingdom
- United States
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Russia launched its illegal invasion of Ukraine in February amid fears its neighbouring country would join the peace treaty and “threaten” Russia’s security.
Just prior to launching the invasion, Russia’s foreign minister sent out letters threatening a number of countries from pursuing membership with the alliance, stating it would set off “serious military-political consequences” should they strengthen their security [by joining NATO].
However, these threats didn’t seem to affect decisions as interest in joining NATO has instead increased from a number of nations in response to the war.
Most recently, Sweden and Finland made the historic move of submitting application forms to join the alliance.
The two countries have remained militarily neutral since the end of World War 2 and have always been typically against joining the treaty, despite the close ties they have with it.
But as tensions continue to increase in the east, both countries have made the decision to apply to bolster security and protection.
On the decision to join the military alliance, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said: “A new era is opening… a protected Finland is being born as part of a stable, strong and responsible Nordic region.
And these aren’t the only countries waiting in the wings for potential membership.
NATO also recognises Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine as aspiring members.
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