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March 5, 2024

EXPLAINER: What Is Article 5 and How Does it Shape NATO’s Ukraine Response?

Sweden, a neutral country for two centuries, is joining NATO in a move
experts say will have a significant impact on global politics.

The Swedish Island of Gotland, located 120 miles southeast of Stockholm and slightly smaller than Rhode Island, is home to around 60,000 people, a thriving local farm scene and one of the world’s northernmost vineyards.

In the face of the continued threat from Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s also become one of the world’s most important geopolitical hotspots: For years American and European analysts have warned that the island in the middle of the Baltic Sea would likely play a key role in a broader Russian attack against Europe, with Russia potentially attempting to occupy Gotland to facilitate a larger regional invasion. In March 2022 – just days after Putin invaded Ukraine – Russian fighter jets emphasized the threat by buzzing Gotland airspace.

Now the island will be defended by the collective heft of the world’s biggest military alliance. Last week, Sweden cleared its last hurdle to joining NATO with a vote of approval from Hungary’s parliament. The highly anticipated vote came after more than a year and a half of delays from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a right-wing Putin sympathizer who had served as the last holdout, as well as a last minute visit to Budapest from Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson...

“We’ve likely seen no comparable boost to the strength of Western security,” John R. Deni, a professor at the U.S. Army War College and the author of a book on NATO’s Article 5, wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed following Finland’s accession, “since West Germany joined the alliance in 1955.”

Experts say a variety of circumstances at play in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead NATO members to invoke the ‘collective defense’ principle at the heart of their treaty...

Read Now at US News & World Report