Finland and Sweden officially submitted their applications to join NATO on Wednesday, head of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg confirmed, an expected move that the two historically neutral Nordic nations have taken in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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According to an official statement, the Finnish Ambassador to NATO, Klaus Korhonen, and the Swedish Ambassador to NATO, Axel Wernhoff, both handed in their official letters of application to join the military alliance at NATO’s Brussels headquarters.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accepted the applications and said he “warmly welcomed their decisions.”

Stoltenberg hailed both Sweden and Finland as NATO’s “closest partners” and said their membership would “increase our shared security.”

The NATO chief added that the member states were determined to work through all issues and reach “rapid conclusions” to the application process.