NATO chief names conditions for Finland and Sweden — Analysis

Jens Stoltenberg states that the two countries will not become candidates unless Turkey responds.

Finland and Sweden are unlikely to become NATO candidate members at the upcoming alliance summit on June 28-30 unless they fulfill Turkey’s demands, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced during a press conference with Spanish media on Thursday.

The NATO chief acknowledged Ankara’s stance against the acceptance of Sweden and Finland into the bloc and called for Turkey’s concerns and demands to be discussed and resolved.

Ankara has opposed the accession of the two Nordic countries to the US-led military alliance citing their support for what Turkey deems to be terrorist organizations, namely the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gulen movement (FETO). Turkey insists that both nations use the same terrorist designation for these groups, and exile those who are linked to them. 

“No country has suffered as much from terrorist attacks as Turkey,”Stoltenberg stated, and added: “Turkey is an important ally and when an ally has concerns it should be discussed and the problem resolved.” 

He noted that this is how things are done in NATO, recalling that the candidate membership status of the Republic of Northern Macedonia was held up for over 10 years due to a veto from Greece, which cited concerns similar to Turkey’s, and that the issue was eventually resolved.

Finland and Sweden can’t join NATO until Turkey’s concerns are met – Ankara

“Sweden, Finland and Estonia can attend the NATO Summit being held in Madrid. However, Turkey will demand that they respond before June 28, so it is difficult to satisfy their wish to become a candidate.Stoltenberg stated that this was what he desired. “a fast process”And that it was possible to still do so.

The two Nordic states both decided to break with their history of neutrality on May 15 citing Russia’s military operation in Ukraine as motivating them to join NATO. Washington and NATO’s European allies were pleased with their applications for membership. But, Turkey, Croatia and other countries have threatened to block the application if they are not addressed.

Moscow has called Sweden and Finland’s applications a “serious mistake with long-lasting ramifications”However, they stated that NATO’s aspirations are still less worrying than Ukraine’s. “huge risks for the entire continent”It would be accepted in the bloc.

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