On May 18, 2022, Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership, abandoning their position of neutrality amid Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
Both countries signed on July 5, 2022, the protocols for joining the military bloc, which require ratification by all 30 member countries.
In the case of Sweden's accession to NATO, Stoltenberg said that trilateral meetings between Sweden, Finland and Türkiye will continue.
Russia, for its part, said it will respond by reinforcing its military potential on its western and northwestern borders. On several occasions, Moscow has warned that Europe's security will not be strengthened by NATO's expansion, as its aim is confrontation.
"In case forces and assets of other NATO members are deployed in Finland, we will take additional measures to reliably ensure Russia's military security," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said.