Sweden wants Russia to explain threats over NATO Entry: Sweden has called in Russia's ambassador to explain comments by a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who said any Swedish decision to join NATO would have "consequences" that would compel Russia to respond

NATO Milestones:

April 4, 1949 The Treaty of Washington (North Atlantic Treaty) is signed by 12 nations. U.S. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed the first supreme allied commander, Europe.

1954 Soviet Union suggests it should join NATO to preserve peace in Europe. U.S. and U.K. reject this, seeing it as an attempt to curtail the buildup of NATO forces in Europe. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/fast-facts-about-nato-1.778864

The Observer

Soviets tried to join Nato in 1954 A year after Stalin died in 1953 and a year before the Warsaw Pact was established in 1955, the Kremlin asked to join Nato, according to a secret file which President Vladimir Putin unveiled last night, writes Ian Traynor.

In a coup de thétre which will have Cold War historians breaking out in a sweat, Putin brandished what he described as a recently declassified 'note' from the Soviet government to western leaders from 1954.

It stated that Moscow was 'holding to its intention of entering negotiations on joining' Nato, formed five years earlier.

Putin used the ploy to answer a question on Russian reaction to possible Nato expansion into parts of the former USSR following George Bush's robust advocacy of potential Nato membership for all countries 'from the Baltic to the Black Sea'.

He then revealed that the 1954 response from the West was that 'the unrealistic nature of the proposal does not warrant discussion'.

A mischievous Putin pointed out that he suggested Russian membership of Nato a year ago but was rebuffed by Madeleine Albright, then the US Secretary of State.

And while it was stressed that Russia and America could be 'allies', Colin Powell, Albright's successor, made clear that that was 'allies with a small "a"'. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jun/17/russia.iantraynor

Great comment. One day it might even happen.

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