Finland and Sweden join US-led military bloc despite Turkey’s concerns, says NATO Deputy Secretary General
NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircia Giona said he was confident that the alliance would be able to overcome Turkey’s objections to Finland and Sweden becoming new members.
“Turkey is an important ally and concerns that are resolved between friends and allies,” he said. Giona told reporters at an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin on Sunday.
“I am confident if these countries [Finland and Sweden] Decide to seek NATO membership, we can welcome them, find all the conditions for consensus. “ He added.
Finland and Sweden were outside NATO during the Cold War, but the governments of the two Nordic countries have said they have reconsidered their position since Russia began its military operation in Ukraine in late February.
On Sunday, Helsinki said it had formally decided to join the bloc, but that the move still needed parliamentary approval. A similar announcement is expected from Stockholm in a few days, according to media reports.
German Foreign Minister Analena Bayerbock told reporters at a meeting in Berlin “Everything ready for a quick ratification process” The Finnish and Swedish bidders, adding that NATO ministers agreed that the process, which usually takes a year, should be expedited.
However, membership in Finland and Sweden could derail those plans due to Turkey’s opposition.
On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan taunted the two Nordic countries “Guesthouse of a terrorist organization” The separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP / C) are mentioned, which are banned in Turkey. “Right now, we can’t have a positive attitude.” Bid them, he said.
Erdogan’s top adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, made it clear to Reuters on Saturday that Ankara was “not closing its doors” to Helsinki and Stockholm, but was “Basically this issue is being raised as a matter of national security in Turkey.”
Turkey clarifies position on new NATO members
Russia has said that the membership of Finland and Sweden in the US-led military alliance would be a mistake and has promised to take appropriate action if this happens.