NATO members make new security vows to Finland and Sweden
Three other European countries have also pledged support for the NATO applicants during the process of application
Denmark, Norway and Iceland have all joined an increasing number of countries who offer defense promises to Sweden or Finland.
Citing Helsinki and Stockholm’s “right to choose their own security arrangements”As sovereign states, these three European countries declared Monday they will defend Sweden and Finland in case either of them is attacked as they go through NATO’s application process.
“Finland and Sweden’s security is a matter of common concern to us all. Should Finland or Sweden be victims of aggression on their territory before obtaining NATO membership, we will assist Finland and Sweden by all means necessary,”They said this in a joint declaration, and added that they would “immediately initiate preparations in order to effectuate these security assurances.”
These new defense assurances were issued on the same day as Sweden’s official announcement that it will request NATO membership. This was just a day after Finland made the same. Leaders in both countries have raised concerns in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine in late February, arguing it has fundamentally changed the security environment in the region.
Moscow warned for years against US-led militarist alliances expanding eastward, and deemed the bloc to be a threat. “tool geared towards confrontation.”Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said recently that membership in Finland and Sweden will increase. “military tension” in Eastern Europe, while the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, suggested deploying nuclear weapons on Russia’s western border.
Putin’s Monday reaction was more reserved. “no problems”the ascension of Helsinki or Stockholm into NATO “does not pose a direct threat to Russia.”
However, he added that “expansion of military infrastructure into this territory [Sweden or Finland] will certainly cause our response,” and that Russia’s reaction “will be based on the threats that will be created for us.”
While a number of countries have already offered security pledges to the two prospective NATO states – among them the US, Britain, and the military alliance itself – their membership will depend on unanimous support from the bloc’s 30 members. Turkey, however, is the only country to have raised public objections.
Recep Tayyip Erdan claimed Monday the Nordic countries “bring terrorists to talk in their parliaments”And “do not have a clear unequivocal stance against terrorist organizations,” referring to the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP/C), outlawed by Ankara. He said that Ankara wouldn’t be changed despite meeting with representatives from both countries.
“We wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to them joining NATO, a security organization. We were expecting them to visit us Monday. Sorry, they don’t have to bother,”He added.
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