Sweden wants to apply for NATO membership. “We are leaving one era and entering a new one,” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in Stockholm on Monday. “There is a large majority in the Swedish parliament in favor of joining NATO.” It is planned to submit the application together with Finland in the coming days.

Earlier in the morning, during a discussion in parliament, a majority of the parties voted in favor of membership in the western defense alliance. The Greens and the Left are against it. The two parties together have 43 of 349 seats in the Swedish Parliament.

“There is a lot in Sweden worth defending. And in our opinion, that happens best in NATO,” said the Social Democrat Andersson at the joint press conference with the head of the conservative opposition party Moderaterna, Ulf Kristersson, on Monday afternoon. “We are living in dangerous times right now,” said Kristersson, who spoke of a “historic day”.

The government of neighboring Sweden, Finland, announced on Sunday that it intends to apply for NATO membership. A majority for this in the Finnish Parliament is considered safe. The topic had been discussed there in an hour-long debate since Monday morning.

Both countries are thus giving up a long tradition of military non-alignment. The admission process starts when Finland and Sweden have submitted their applications to NATO headquarters in Brussels. All 30 states must agree to join.

You have received signals from different countries that they want to make a decision as soon as possible, said Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist on Swedish television on Monday. A solution was to be found with Turkey, which had expressed criticism of the accession of Sweden and Finland.

“We will send a delegation that will have discussions and dialogue with Turkey to see how we can resolve this issue and what the real issue is,” Hultqvist said. “But the signal we got from NATO is that there is agreement that both Sweden and Finland should be there.”

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov described the possible admission of the two Nordic countries to NATO on Monday as a “serious mistake with far-reaching consequences”. This would increase military tensions, Ryabkov warned, according to the Interfax agency. Speaking to the two Scandinavian countries, he added: “You should have no illusions that we’ll just put up with it.”