Finland and Sweden will join the US-led military bloc despite concerns from Turkey, NATO’s deputy secretary-general says
NATO Vice Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said that Turkey will not be allowed to join the alliance if Finland or Sweden become new members.
“Turkey is an important ally and expressed concerns that are addressed between friends and allies,” Geoana told reporters during an informal NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Berlin on Sunday.
“I am confident if these countries [Finland and Sweden] decide to seek membership in NATO we will be able to welcome them, to find all conditions for consensus to be met,”He added.
While Sweden and Finland remained out of NATO in the Cold War, the Nordic governments have stated that they are now reconsidering their position after Russia launched its military operations in Ukraine late February.
Helsinki declared on Sunday that it has officially joined the bloc. However, the move needs to be approved by parliament. Media reports claim that Stockholm will make a similar announcement within days.
At the meeting, Annalena Baerbock, German Foreign Minister, told journalists that Berlin “has prepared everything to do a quick ratification process”The Swedish and Finnish bids were also included.
These plans may be thwarted by Turkey’s opposition towards Finland’s and Sweden’s joining.
Recep Tayyip Turkey’s President Slammed Two Nordic Nations “guesthouses for terrorist organizations,”Referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Partie (PKK), and Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front(DHKP/C), both of which were outlawed by Turkey. “At this point, it is not possible for us to have a positive approach”He stated that they were to submit bids.
Erdogan’s top adviser Ibrahim Kalin clarified to Reuters on Saturday that Ankara was “not closing the door” for Helsinki and Stockholm, but was “basically raising this issue as a matter of national security for Turkey.”
Turkey clarifies its position regarding new NATO members
Russia believes that joining the US-led NATO military alliance with Finland and Sweden would be an error and has promised to implement appropriate steps if this happens.