Monday, June 27, 2022

EU and NATO Enlargement

When Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin wanted to prevent EU and NATO expansion in the east.  Well four months into the war and he's accomplished the opposite of what he wanted.  
Ukraine and Moldova have formally applied to join the EU and both are now official candidate countries.  Georgia has also applied and is now a potential candidate member.

Ukraine and Georgia were on track to apply in 2024 but the war has fast tracked their applications.

Joining the EU is not an easy thing to do and it takes years.  Türkiye applied in 1999, North Macedonia in 2005, Montenegro in 2010, Serbia in 2012, and Albania in 2014.  

Slovakia applied on 27 June 1995 and Czechland appleid on 17 January 1996.  Both joined on 1 May 2004.  So over eight years and neither country had Russian troops occupying part of their territories.

©The EU made SIMPLE

What's really significant is that Finland and Sweden have now both officially applied to join NATO.  While both countries are part of the the Partnership for Peace programme, both countries have long histories of neutrality.  Russia's invasion of Ukraine has really changed things.

©CNBC

©WSJ

Russia really can't be surprised that countries want to join NATO.  Take a look at the countries that the Soviet Union or Russia has invaded in the last 100 years.

Я за Україну. Я за Україною. Слава Україні  Stojím za Ukrajinou!  I stand with Ukraine. 

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Update:  The USA approved both Finland's and Sweden's NATO applications on 3 August 2022.  Czechland approved both on 27 August 2022.

Update:  December 2022 - Bosnia and Herzegovina is now an official candidate member for EU membership.

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