Since the United States helped form NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in 1949 to counter Soviet aggression in Europe, the alliance has grown to 30 member countries, including three former Soviet republics — the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

What is NATO?

NATO or The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 28 European countries, 2 North American countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.

How many countries are in NATO?

NATO is an alliance of 29 member states. In addition to the USA and Canada on the American continent, these are numerous European states. All member states together cover an area of 24.57 m km² and about 944.52 m people.

  • ALBANIA (2009)
  • BELGIUM (1949)
  • BULGARIA (2004)
  • CANADA (1949)
  • CROATIA (2009)
  • DENMARK (1949)
  • ESTONIA (2004)
  • FRANCE (1949)
  • GERMANY (1955)
  • GREECE (1952)
  • HUNGARY (1999)
  • ICELAND (1949)
  • ITALY (1949)
  • LATVIA (2004)
  • LITHUANIA (2004)
  • LUXEMBOURG (1949)
  • MONTENEGRO (2017)
  • NETHERLANDS (1949)
  • NORWAY (1949)
  • POLAND (1999)
  • PORTUGAL (1949)
  • ROMANIA (2004)
  • SLOVAKIA (2004)
  • SLOVENIA (2004)
  • SPAIN (1982)
  • TURKEY (1952)

What is the purpose of NATO?

NATO’s fundamental goal is to safeguard the Allies’ freedom and security by political and military means. NATO remains the principal security instrument of the transatlantic community and expression of its common democratic values.

How NATO factors into the Ukraine-Russia conflict

Putin’s military operation has prompted NATO allies, worried about further escalation, to issue sanctions meant to impact the Russian economy, bolster troops along the alliance’s Eastern flank and repeatedly warn that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all.

In the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, President Joe Biden announced that NATO will convene a summit Friday to “affirm our solidarity and to map out the next steps we will take to further strengthen all aspects of our NATO alliance.”

NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”

NATO also has what it calls the Membership Action Plan. It helps aspiring members prepare for membership and meet key requirements by providing practical advice and targeted assistance.