NATO Secretary General Doesn't Guarantee Finland and Sweden To Become Members

NATO Secretary General Doesn't Guarantee Finland and Sweden To Become Members
NATO Secretary General Doesn't Guarantee Finland and Sweden To Become Members

Brussels - Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, said it was not yet clear whether the military alliance could overcome Turkey's opposition to the membership of Finland and Sweden.

The two Nordic countries signed up to join the US-led bloc in May, voicing concerns over their security amid Russia's military operations in Ukraine. NATO hoped to accept new members soon, but Turkey blocked the move.

Ankara demands that Finland and Sweden stop harboring members of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and impose an arms embargo on Ankara. In an interview with news website Politico on Wednesday, Stoltenberg was asked if he felt "hostage" by Turkey, because NATO needs the support of all 30 of its members to accept a new nation.

Quoted from Russia Today, the head of NATO said “We have a system where we are based on consensus, that's how we make decisions in NATO, then there will often be situations where one or some allies disagree with the other, and then we have to deal with it, Stockholm and Helsinki signed up a few weeks ago, and my goal is still to make sure they can join us soon. I can't guarantee but I say it's still my goal, Thursday (23/6/2022).

Stoltenberg praised Turkey as a country of great importance to the security alliance because of its "key role" in fighting terrorism, and its geographic position on the Black Sea and borders with Iraq and Syria. “So when they raise concerns, of course, we have to sit down and then address those concerns.

And that's exactly what we're consulting right now. And then I hope we can find a solution to allow Finland and Sweden to become members as soon as possible," NATO Secretary General said.

The US has also voiced its support for bringing Finland and Sweden into NATO, and thus strengthening the bloc's northeastern flank against Russia. The issue was discussed Wednesday by the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Karen Donfried. "We are sure it will be resolved in a positive way. There is broad and deep support throughout the NATO alliance for the accession of Finland and Sweden," he told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

When asked if he believed a consensus on Sweden and Finland's accession bids could be reached at the NATO summit in Madrid on June 29 and 30, Donfried replied: "I would say that we are definitely pushing for it." Russia says Sweden and Finland will only undermine their national security by joining NATO, and has pledged to adjust their military posture in the region if they join the Western military bloc.

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