STORY: "If they decide to apply, Finland and Sweden will be warmly welcomed, and I expect the process to go quickly," Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.
He said he was sure arrangements could be found for the interim period between an application by the two Scandinavian countries and the formal ratification in the parliaments of all 30 NATO members.
"I'm confident there are ways to bridge that interim period in a way, which is a good enough and works for both Finland and Sweden," Stoltenberg said.
Russia, with which Finland shares an 808 mile border, has said it will deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad if Finland and Sweden decide to join NATO.
"It just demonstrates how Russia is not respecting the basic right of every nation to choose its own path," Stoltenberg told reporters.