In Prague, NATO has invited Estonia, Latvia and Lthuania to become new members of the Atlantic Alliance.
In all probability, they will join both the European Union and NATO on May 1, 2004.
Then, a new reality will have emerged in Northern Europe.
The security boundary of the Western systems of alliance and integration will run along the Narva river.
This should create a stability that will further also relations between Russia, the Baltic nations and the rest of Europe.
A million Russians, living in and having the possibility of becoming citizens of the Baltic countries, will become citizens of the EU.
Naturally, this will change the environment for the policies of Sweden and Finland as well.
NATO membership is not an imminent issue for either of them.
But it is clearly an issue that has to be addresed within the next two or three years.
It's not a question of security - but of influence.
To be present together will all others when the questions of security and stability of Northern Europe are discussed.
Together with the NATO nations. And together with Russia.