Støre told Norwegian tabloid newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) NATO has started a process that could bring Sweden and Finland into the alliance in rapid order, should the two countries apply to join.
Finland's foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, said on April 29 that it is Finland's wish that "Finland and Sweden can adhere to the same timetable in respect of applying for membership to NATO.".
Marin recently said that she expected Finland to make up its mind on whether to apply for NATO membership within weeks.
The VG newspaper cited diplomatic sources as saying that lengthy talks have been underway between the NATO countries and Sweden and Finland, to shorten the process as much as possible between application and membership.
The Kremlin has repeatedly warned Finland and Sweden against applying for NATO membership, saying that the possible accession of the countries to the military alliance would not bring stability to Europe.
When pressed by reporters last month on the possibility of Sweden and Finland joining NATO, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia has "repeatedly said that the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation.".
Newsweek has contacted NATO, and officials in Russia, Sweden and Finland, for comment. »