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President Biden talking to Sauli Niinistö of Finland and Magdalena Andersson of Sweden

President Biden talking to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

May 19, 2022

Finland and Sweden Announce Plans to Join NATO

Ask Students: Who are the leaders of Finland and Sweden? What might the effects on NATO be with the alliance of Finland and Sweden?


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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a major shift in public opinion in Finland and Sweden, with support for joining NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) recently surging in both countries. Sweden and Finland have resisted joining NATO for decades in an attempt to stay neutral with their neighboring nation Russia. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the expansion of NATO infrastructure would trigger a response.

For the sake of time, watch the first 3m:32s of the video. Follow along with the transcript here. 

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions

  1. Who are the leaders of Finland and Sweden?
  2. What might the effects on NATO be with the alliance of Finland and Sweden?
  3. Where and When would the transaction of these two nations joining NATO take place?
  4. Why is Russia upset at the prospect of the two nations joining NATO?
  5. How might the situation with Turkey and Kurdish residents in Sweden and Finland affect both countries’ membership?


Focus Questions

  • What do you think Russia will do in response to Finland and Sweden joining NATO?
  • Media literacy: How could you help yourself more understand the situation between Russia and NATO?


Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.

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