List of NATO Member States/Countries

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has generated an international response of contempt and sanctions on the Gremlin since Russian troops first crossed the border into the country in February 2022. The US and European countries including France, Italy and Germany have all publicly condemned Putin and his army for the ongoing attack. With UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson even calling an emergency COBRA meeting to discuss how Britain will support Ukraine during its time of need. Global citizens are also eager to learn how to donate to Ukraine and help its civilians as frantic scenes of destruction, loss of life and Ukrainian refugees play out in the worldwide media.

Some are still coming to grips with what warranted the invasion in the first place, with many news reports bringing up the organisation NATO in conjunction with war reports. We share all the need-to-know information on the international alliance and why it’s linked to the Russian invasion.

Full Meaning of NATO

Nato, founded in April 1949 in Washington DC, stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and is also known as the North Atlantic Alliance. NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. Its headquarters are in Brussels in Belgium.

Politically, it aims to promote democratic values and enables members to consult and co-operate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.

Regarding military action, Nato says it is “committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes”.

If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations.

It uses a system of collective security, whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. It may also ally with external forces.

List of NATO Countries/Member States

Below is a list of all NATO countries, their capital, the year they joined NATO and their geographical land area:

Country Capital Year Joined Area
Albania Tirana 1 April 2009 28,748 km2 (11,100 sq mi)
Belgium Brussels 24 August 1949 30,528 km2 (11,787 sq mi)
Bulgaria Sofia 29 March 2004 110,879 km2 (42,811 sq mi)
Canada Ottawa August 24, 1949 9,984,670 km2 (3,855,103 sq mi)
Croatia Zagreb 1 April 2009 56,594 km2 (21,851 sq mi)
Czech Republic Prague 12 March 1999 78,867 km2 (30,451 sq mi)
Denmark Copenhagen 24 August 1949 42,943 km2 (16,580 sq mi)
Estonia Tallinn 29 March 2004 45,228 km2 (17,463 sq mi)
France Paris 24 August 1949[b] 643,427 km2 (248,429 sq mi)
Germany Berlin 8 May 1955 357,022 km2 (137,847 sq mi)
Greece Athens 18 February 1952 131,957 km2 (50,949 sq mi)
Hungary Budapest 12 March 1999 93,028 km2 (35,918 sq mi)
Iceland Reykjavík 24 August 1949 103,000 km2 (39,769 sq mi)
Italy Rome 24 August 1949 301,340 km2 (116,348 sq mi)
Latvia Riga 29 March 2004 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi)
Lithuania Vilnius 29 March 2004 65,300 km2 (25,212 sq mi)
Luxembourg Luxembourg 24 August 1949 2,586 km2 (998 sq mi)
Montenegro Podgorica 5 June 2017 13,812 km2 (5,333 sq mi)
Netherlands Amsterdam 24 August 1949 41,543 km2 (16,040 sq mi)
North Macedonia Skopje 27 March 2020 25,713 km2 (9,928 sq mi)
Norway Oslo 24 August 1949 323,802 km2 (125,021 sq mi)
Poland Warsaw 12 March 1999 312,685 km2 (120,728 sq mi)
Portugal Lisbon 24 August 1949 92,090 km2 (35,556 sq mi)
Romania Bucharest 29 March 2004 238,391 km2 (92,043 sq mi)
Slovakia Bratislava 29 March 2004 49,035 km2 (18,933 sq mi)
Slovenia Ljubljana 29 March 2004 20,273 km2 (7,827 sq mi)
Spain Madrid 30 May 1982 505,370 km2 (195,124 sq mi)
Turkey Ankara 18 February 1952 783,562 km2 (302,535 sq mi)
United Kingdom London 24 August 1949 243,610 km2 (94,058 sq mi)
United States Washington, D.C. 24 August 1949 9,833,520 km2 (3,796,743 sq mi)

How Many Countries Make up NATO?

There are a total of 30 countries that are members of NATO. The last country to sign up with NATO is North Macedonia on March 27, 2020. The alliance state that they have an open-door policy when it comes to countries wanting to join. However, they must be prepared to meet certain criteria to gain membership.

Who is the leader of NATO?

NATO is officially headed by former Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg. The 62-year-old former prime minister became Secretary-General of NATO in October 2014 and he will remain leader of NATO until September 2022.

Why Russia does not want Ukraine to join NATO?

It is generally understood that Russia does not want Ukraine to join NATO due to Ukraine’s close proximity to Russia. NATO – comprising mainly Western countries – could be seen as a threat to Eastern Europe’s power. And previous USSR states like Ukraine joining the alliance only adds to this theoretical menace.

According to Business Insider‘s Jeremy Bender, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is sceptical of NATO for political reasons:

“For Putin, the peeling away of countries from Russia towards NATO comes as both an existential threat and a personal insult,” he says. “As a former agent in the KGB and an avowed nationalist, Putin has dreams of resurrecting the glories of Imperial Russia — a goal that is seriously hampered by the inclusion of what Putin would deem rightful Russian lands, such as the Baltics, into the NATO alliance.”

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