TWO newspapers – one Swedish, the other Finnish – are reporting that the governments of Sweden and Finland have agreed to submit Nato applications at the same time and that it will happen in the middle of next month.

Finnish newspaper Iltalehti said that the Swedish government has expressed a wish to Finland that they apply together in the week starting May 22 and Swedish government sources confirmed the information to Sweden’s Expressen tabloid.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to growing support in Sweden and Finland, a Russian neighbour, for joining Nato.

Though not members, both Nordic countries closely co-operate with Nato, allowing, among other things, the alliance’s troops to carry out exercises on their soil.

Helsinki and Stockholm have also substantially intensified their bilateral defence co-operation in the past years.