One thing Vladimir Putin likely didn’t bank on after sending his forces to invade Ukraine was that it would push Finland and Sweden to join NATO. But the two Nordic nations may now be set to join the Western bloc by summer, according to the Times of London, which called it a “massive strategic blunder” on the Russian president’s part. Several U.S. officials said the expansion from 30 to 32 countries had been “a topic of conversation and multiple sessions” during which reps from Sweden and Finland were present. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said it was time for Finland to change its neutral stance. “Russia is not the neighbor we thought it was,” she said, adding the decision to join in June had been made “thoroughly but quickly.” Sweden is expected to follow shortly after Finland, pending a security review. Membership would mean that the alliance would protect the nations against a Russian incursion.
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