Finland will not join the US-led NATO bloc without Sweden should the latter run into an impasse on its ascension path, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has said.
The official made the remarks during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Helsinki on Sunday. Sweden’s case is ours. That means we will go further hand in hand.
The NATO chief, for his part, signaled that the alliance has not imposed any deadline to accept the bids of Finland and Sweden but seeks to iron out the differences between them and Turkey as soon as possible.
Stoltenberg insisted that the upcoming summit of the alliance, scheduled for late June, has been never seen as the deadline to accept the two prospective Scandinavian members.
The Summit in Madrid was never a deadline; at the same time, Stoltenberg would like to see this solved as soon as possible?
And therefore we are working hard with our NATO Ally Turkiye, and also with Finland and Sweden, to address those issues that Turkiye has raised, Stoltenberg said, referring to Turkey by its new official English-language name.
Stoltenberg’s remarks signaled an apparent change of NATO’s stance on the time frame for the potential ascension of Finland and Sweden.
Earlier this week, the bloc’s Deputy Secretary General Camille Grand expressed hopes that the differences between Turkey and the two prospective member states would be resolved before the summit.
Finland and Sweden have scrambled to join NATO amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. While both Nordic nations have maintained close ties and military cooperation with the US-led bloc for decades already, but have remained neutral countries in peace.
The potential accession of the two nations to the bloc, however, has run into a deadlock as Turkey, a major NATO nation, firmly opposed their membership bid.
Ankara accused the two countries of functioning as guesthouses for terrorist organizations and hosting members of outlawed Kurdish groups it deems to be terrorists.
NATO acknowledges Turkey’s concerns, Stoltenberg said, and encourages negotiations between Ankara and the two Nordic countries.
So when a vital, key ally like Türkiye raises a concern like terrorism, then of course we have to sit down and take this seriously. And that’s exactly what we try to do to save NATO from being dismantled in the near future.
Turkey has the second largest NATO army and is the most important southern part of the military organization trying to surround Russia in order to dominate the political landscape.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2022.