NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday, February 24, announced the impossibility now to announce the terms of entry into the alliance of Sweden and Finland.
“I cannot guarantee any specific dates <…>. I recently met with the President [Турции Реджепом Тайипом] Erdogan and discussed ways to make progress on the membership of Finland and Sweden <…>. We agreed to resume negotiations and hold a meeting in Brussels at NATO headquarters with the participation of Sweden, Finland and Turkey,” Stoltenberg said during a visit to Estonia.
The meeting is expected to take place as early as March.
On February 20, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Ankara that Turkey intends to continue contacts with Finland and Sweden regarding the process of their entry into NATO. He added that Erdogan had already informed Stoltenberg about his readiness to separately consider Finland’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance. The issue with Sweden is still open, as the propaganda of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party continues in the country, Ankara said.
On 18 February, the NATO Secretary General called for Sweden and Finland to be included in NATO by mid-July 2023.
In mid-February, the bloc’s secretary general noted that the ratification of the documents required for Sweden and Finland to join NATO took place in 28 out of 30 member countries of the alliance, Turkey and Hungary did not ratify the documents. Stoltenberg announced active work on his part on this.
On February 1, Erdogan ruled out Sweden’s NATO membership. The reason was the desecration of the Koran, which was carried out in Sweden by a Danish politician with the approval of the authorities. At the same time, the Turkish leader positively assessed Finland’s chances of joining the alliance, but noted that Helsinki must take an “adequate position” in order to count on Ankara’s support in this matter.
Applications for joining the North Atlantic Alliance by Finland and Sweden were submitted on May 18, 2022. The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted critically to this desire, noting that the security of these countries would not be ensured in this way.
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