Sweden, Finland officially apply to join NATO

DW (Germany) newspaper reported that on May 18, Sweden and Finland officially applied to join the 73-year-old NATO military alliance, despite Turkey’s threat to oppose the effort.

Speaking to the press after receiving the applications for accession from the two Nordic countries mentioned above, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated:I warmly welcome the proposal of Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners.”

Sweden, Finland officially apply to join NATO - 1

The leaders of Finland and Sweden decided to apply to join NATO. (Photo: DW)

Speaking at a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said:I’m glad we’re on the same path and we can do it together.”

According to the newspaper DWProtocols related to the admission of these two Nordic countries to NATO can be signed as soon as next June. This is followed by the membership approval process. Sweden and Finland could become members of the military alliance before the end of the year. Normally, the process of ratifying the admission of a new NATO member takes about a year.

The move comes a day after the Finnish Parliament approved a proposal to expedite the process for the country to become a member of NATO with 188 votes in favor and 8 votes against. President Sauli Niinisto and the government of this country have decided to speed up the process of Helsinki applying to join the military alliance. Speaking at the National Assembly, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto affirmed that joining NATO would not change the basic position of this Nordic country, which is always looking for peaceful solutions.

Sweden has also announced that it will immediately proceed with the process of joining NATO despite the objections of Turkey because of security concerns. However, in a statement on May 17, both Germany and the US said that the two Nordic countries can overcome the barrier to become a member of this military alliance.

According to the NATO Charter, the admission of a new member must receive the consent of all 30 current members of the alliance, through a process of negotiating a variety of procedures promoted by each country applying for accession. member country. To date, at least Turkey has voiced its opposition to NATO’s admission of Finland and Sweden.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 17 that delegations from Sweden and Finland should not bother asking Ankara to approve their application to join NATO. President Erdogan confirmed that Turkey would say “no” to the efforts of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, and stressed that any efforts to persuade Ankara to change its position would be futile. Turkey has warned that it may object to granting NATO membership to Sweden and Finland, with Mr Erdogan calling the two Nordic countries “hostages of terrorist organisations”, referring to the Labor Party. People of Kurdistan (PKK), which Ankara lists as a terrorist group.

On May 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO is not a direct threat to Russia, but warned that the bloc’s expansion of military infrastructure on the territory territories of these two countries will force Moscow to react.

According to the news agency TASS of Russia, in his speech at the Summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Moscow, President Putin emphasized the expansion of NATO, namely through the admission of more NATO members. New members are Finland and Sweden, which Moscow does not consider a direct threat because Moscow has no problems with these countries.

However, the Russian leader made it clear that Moscow will take measures in response to the expansion of NATO’s military infrastructure to the territories of Finland and Sweden. He affirmed that Russia’s response will be based on the nature of the threat that Moscow faces. Putin said that in addition to expanding activities, NATO also goes beyond the Euro-Atlantic space framework and seeks to participate more in international affairs and control the international situation from the point of view of security. his security. Therefore, according to President Putin, Russia will pay attention to that fact.

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