NATO chief ‘cannot guarantee’ membership for Finland and Sweden — Analysis
Jens Stoltenberg believes that bringing the Nordic nations together in the military alliance remains the goal.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said it’s uncertain whether the military alliance will be able to overcome Turkey’s opposition to membership for Finland and Sweden.
In May, the two Nordic countries applied for membership in the US-led bloc. They expressed concerns about their security amid Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
NATO wanted to quickly admit new members but Turkey blocked it. It demanded that Finland and Sweden cease harboring separatist Kurdistan Workers Party members (PKK), and placed arms embargoes upon Ankara.
Stoltenberg was asked Wednesday by Politico if he believes he’s being misunderstood. “held hostage”Turkey. NATO must have the support of all thirty members in order to recognize a new member.
“We have a system where we are based on consensus, that’s the way we make decisions in NATO, then there will often be a situation where one or a few allies disagree with the rest, and then we need to overcome then,”NATO Chief said.
Stockholm and Helsinki “applied for not so many weeks ago, and my aim is still to make sure that they can join with us soon. I cannot guarantee but I’m saying that’s still my aim,”He added.
Stoltenberg extolled Turkey’s qualities as a country “of great importance for our alliance”It is a result of its “key role”to fight terrorism.
“So, when they raise concerns, of course, we have to sit down and then address those concerns. This is exactly what we’re currently working on. And then I hope that we can find a solution to allow Finland and Sweden to become members as soon as possible,”According to the secretary general.
The US has also voiced its support for bringing Finland and Sweden into NATO, and thus strengthening the bloc’s northeast flank against Russia.
Karen Donfried, the Assistant Secretary for State for Europe and Eurasian Relations, addressed this issue on Wednesday.
“We are confident that this will be resolved in a positive way. There is broad and deep support across the NATO alliance for Finnish and Swedish accession,”During a hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she spoke.
Donfried responded, “Yes.” when she was asked whether there could be a consensus regarding the Swedish and Finnish bids for accession at the NATO summit in Madrid. It will take place on 29/30 June. “I will say that we’re certainly pushing for that.”
Russia stated that Sweden and Finland joining NATO will only harm their national security and it has promised to modify its military presence in the region, if the Western military bloc is joined.