What is NATO and What is it's purpose? How many Countries are in NATO?

Ukraine is not a NATO member country. Ukraine is though a NATO partner country, which means that it may join the NATO in the future.

Updated: Feb 28, 2022 13:27 IST
NATO Member Countries
NATO Member Countries

What is NATO?: NATO is a military alliance that was formed in 1949 by 12 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK and France. NATO's full form is North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. 

NATO was formed largely to counter the threat from the Soviet Union post World War II. The USSR had created its own military alliance in 1955 to counter NATO, called the Warsaw pact. Warsaw got disbanded with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 and several of Warsaw pact countries became NATO members. 

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NATO alliance has a total of 30 member countries. Under the alliance, the member countries have agreed to come to one another's aid in the event of armed attack against any one member state. 

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What is the Purpose of NATO

NATO's purpose is to implement the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on April 4, 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective security. Under the system, an attack on one member state is considered as an attack on all and it calls for a collective response. This ensures collective security of all NATO member states. NATO's headquarters are located in located in Brussels, Belgium.

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NATO Member Countries

NATO member countries include 2 North American countries, 27 European countries and 1 Eurasian country.

List of NATO Member Countries

NATO Country Capital Joined Population Area
Albania Tirana 1-April-2009 30,88,385 28,748 km sq (11,100 sq mi)
Belgium Brussels 24-Aug-1949 1,17,78,842 30,528 km sq (11,787 sq mi)
Bulgaria Sofia 29-Mar-2004 69,19,180 110,879 km sq (42,811 sq mi)
Canada Ottawa 24-Aug-1949 3,79,43,231 9,984,670 km sq (3,855,103 sq mi)
Croatia Zagreb 1-April-2009 42,08,973 56,594 km sq (21,851 sq mi)
Czechia Prague 12-Mar-1999 1,07,02,596 78,867 km sq (30,451 sq mi)
Denmark Copenhagen 24-Aug-1949 58,94,687 42,943 km sq (16,580 sq mi)
Estonia Tallinn 29-Mar-2004 12,20,042 45,228 km sq (17,463 sq mi)
France Paris 24-Aug-1949 6,80,84,217 643,427 km sq (248,429 sq mi)
Germany Berlin 8-May-1955 7,99,03,481 357,022 km sq (137,847 sq mi)
Greece Athens 18-Feb-1952 1,05,69,703 131,957 km sq (50,949 sq mi)
Hungary Budapest 12-Mar-1999 97,28,337 93,028 km sq (35,918 sq mi)
Iceland Reykjavík 24-Aug-1949 3,54,234 103,000 km sq (39,769 sq mi)
Italy Rome 24-Aug-1949 6,23,90,364 301,340 km sq (116,348 sq mi)
Latvia Riga 29-Mar-2004 18,62,687 64,589 km sq (24,938 sq mi)
Lithuania Vilnius 29-Mar-2004 27,11,566 65,300 km sq (25,212 sq mi)
Luxembourg Luxembourg 24-Aug-1949 6,39,589 2,586 km sq (998 sq mi)
Montenegro Podgorica 5-Jun-2017 6,07,414 13,812 km sq (5,333 sq mi)
Netherlands Amsterdam 24-Aug-1949 1,73,37,403 41,543 km sq (16,040 sq mi)
North Macedonia Skopje 27-Mar-2020 2,128,262[d] 25,713 km sq (9,928 sq mi)
Norway Oslo 24-Aug-1949 55,09,591 323,802 km sq (125,021 sq mi)
Poland Warsaw 12-Mar-1999 3,81,85,913 312,685 km sq (120,728 sq mi)
Portugal Lisbon 24-Aug-1949 1,02,63,850 92,090 km sq (35,556 sq mi)
Romania Bucharest 29-Mar-2004 2,12,30,362 238,391 km sq (92,043 sq mi)
Slovakia Bratislava 29-Mar-2004 54,36,066 49,035 km sq (18,933 sq mi)
Slovenia Ljubljana 29-Mar-2004 21,02,106 20,273 km sq (7,827 sq mi)
Spain Madrid 30-May-1982 4,72,60,584 505,370 km sq (195,124 sq mi)
Turkey Ankara 18-Feb-1952 8,24,82,383 783,562 km sq (302,535 sq mi)
United Kingdom London 24-Aug-1949 6,70,81,000 243,610 km sq (94,058 sq mi)
United States Washington, D.C. 24-Aug-1949 33,49,98,398 9,833,520 km sq (3,796,743 sq mi)

Last Country to join NATO is - North Macedonia

Is Ukraine a NATO member country?

No, Ukraine is not a NATO member country. Ukraine is though a NATO partner country, which means that it may join the NATO in the future.

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What is Russia's issue with NATO and Ukraine?

Russia is against the former Soviet Union Republic Ukraine joining the NATO alliance. Russia wants NATO to bar Ukraine from joining NATO, which the US and its allies have refused to do. 

Russia also wants NATO to cease its military activities in Eastern Europe, claiming that the Western powers are using the alliance to encroach on Russia. NATO rejected this saying that only a small number of its member states actually share border with Russia.

Also Read: Black Sea Bordering Countries, Map, Location, Key Facts

What is Swift Payment System? How will its ban affect Russia?

What is NATO doing about the current Russia-Ukraine crisis?

US President Joe Biden said that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reached out to him after the Russian attacks on Ukraine. He said that he condemns the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces on Ukraine. 

The US President will be meeting with the leaders of the G7 nations and United States and our Allies and partners will be imposing severe sanctions on Russia. He further assured that the US will continue to provide support and assistance to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

The United States has already sent nearly 3,000 additional troops to Poland and Romania to reinforce Nato's eastern borders and another  8,500 combat-ready troops have been put on alert. Though there are no NATO troops deployed within Ukaine. 

The US has also sent weapons to Ukraine including Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The United Kingdom has also sent 2,000 short-range anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. The UK has also deployed 350 more troops in Poland and doubled its strength in Estonia with additional 900 troops. 

Other NATO allies including France, Denmark, Spain and Netherlands have also sent fighter jets and warships to eastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean.

French President Emmanuel Macron had recently visited Ukraine and Russia and met with the respective leaders in a last ditch effort to evade war. He had also negatiation a telephone call between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Background

NATO had not intervened last time when Ukrainians deposed their pro-Russian president in early 2014 and Russia invaded and annexed Ukraine's southern Crimean peninsula. While NATO did condemn annexation of Crimea and remove Russia from its G8 grouping, it did not take any harsh action.

Read more: India sets up 24x7 control room to assist Indian nationals in Ukraine, to activate alternate evacuation routes

FAQ

When was NATO founded?

1949

Which was the last country to join NATO?

North Macedonia

When was NATO founded?

1949

How many countries are members of NATO?

30

What is the full form of NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

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