The NATO Secretary General indicated that the US-led bloc does not have a deadline for accepting the Nordic countries despite opposition from Turkey.
Finnish President Sauli Ninisto stated that Finland would not be joining the US-led NATO bloc if it was separated from Sweden. This was said during Sunday’s joint press conference in Helsinki with NATO Secretary General Jens Scholtenberg.
“I say that Sweden’s case is ours. That means we will go further hand in hand,” Niinisto stated.
For his part, NATO’s chief signaled that the alliance had not set a deadline for accepting the bids from Sweden and Finland, but is trying to resolve the disagreements between the two countries and Turkey “as soon as possible.”Stoltenberg claimed that Stoltenberg had never considered the June summit as the date to accept two potential members.
“The Summit in Madrid was never a deadline; at the same time, I would like to see this solved as soon as possible. And therefore we are working hard with our NATO Ally Turkiye, and also with Finland and Sweden, to address those issues that Turkiye has raised,”Stoltenberg stated that he was referring to Turkey under its official English-language title.
Stoltenberg’s remarks signaled an apparent change of NATO’s stance on the time frame for the potential ascension of Finland and Sweden. Earlier this week, the bloc’s Deputy Secretary General Camille Grand expressed hopes that the differences between Turkey and the two prospective member states will be resolved before the summit.
“We are hopeful that the differences will be settled in time for the summit. It is important to take Turkey’s concerns into account,”Grand spoke to RTS, a Swiss television station in an interview.
Between the continuing conflict between Russia/Ukraine, Finland has been forced to make a last-minute move to NATO. Although both the US and Nordic countries have been able to maintain close military cooperation for many decades, they are still neutral.
However, the potential accession of these two countries to the bloc has been stalled as Turkey, which is a significant NATO country, strongly opposed them. Ankara charged the two nations with functioning as a terrorist organization. “guesthouses for terrorist organizations”It hosts members of Kurdish outlawed groups that it considers to be “terrorists.” NATO acknowledges Turkey’s concerns, Stoltenberg said, and encourages negotiations between Ankara and the two Nordic countries.
“So when a vital, key Ally like Türkiye raises a concern like terrorism, then of course we have to sit down and take this seriously. And that’s exactly what we do,”He stressed.