On May 18, representatives of the member states of the NATO military alliance gathered to seek to open negotiations on the application of Finland and Sweden to join. The move comes just hours after the two Nordic countries applied. However, the Turkish representative is said to have blocked the negotiation effort, saying that the country still needs to work on a number of issues.
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the first phase of the negotiations on the Swedish and Finnish applications could be completed within a week or two. Turkey’s objections make many people doubt the feasibility of this.
According to Financial Times, A NATO spokesman did not comment on the obstacles in the negotiations, but said: “The security interests of all allies must be taken into account and the parties are determined to work on all issues so that conclusions can be reached quickly.”
At the same time, the NATO spokesman still affirmed that Sweden and Finland are “closest partners” of NATO, emphasizing their accession “will strengthen EU-Atlantic security.”
Turkey has stated conditions to help Finland and Sweden join NATO. Accordingly, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on May 15 that Sweden and Finland must stop supporting opposition groups that are listed by Ankara as a terrorist organization, and provide clear security guarantees. clear and lift the export ban on Turkey when these two countries want to become a member of NATO.
To be able to join NATO, both Finland and Sweden need the support of all 30 member states of the alliance. The process of ratifying the application for accession by the two Nordic countries can take about a year, although Finland and Sweden are said to have fully met the criteria for NATO membership.
Reacting to Sweden and Finland’s decision to join NATO, President Vladimir Putin declared Moscow “no matter what” with Stockholm or Helsinki and their accession to NATO “does not pose a direct threat to Russia”.
However, Mr. Putin also emphasized “The expansion of NATO’s military infrastructure into Swedish or Finnish territory will certainly force us to respond.”and Russia’s response “will be based on threats to us.”
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