What Is NATO and Which Countries Are Members?

Source: www.nytimes.com : 2022-06-30 19:48:09 : Jesus Jiménez

In addition to the United States and Canada, 10 other countries became part of NATO in 1949: Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Britain.

Since then, 18 more European powers have joined: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Turkey, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Other European countries have, over the years, avoided joining, often because of traditions of neutrality, like Ireland. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted two traditionally nonaligned countries, Sweden and Finland, to reconsider. They announced plans to seek membership in May and received formal invitations in June. It’s expected to take several more months, however, for each existing member country to ratify the decision.

Ukraine, in contrast, has little prospect of membership any time soon, not least because of the risk of widening the conflict with Russia.

A no-fly zone bans aircraft from certain areas. Ukraine is asking that aircraft be barred from its skies, which would, in theory, stop aerial bombardment by Russia.

No-fly zones are used over government buildings or public places for security reasons. In the United States, for example, aircraft are prohibited from flying over the White House, the National Mall and the vice president’s residence in Washington. No-fly zones like this are not controversial.

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