Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession process could ‘freeze in place’ if agreement with Turkey is not reached before NATO summit in Madrid, Finnish Prime Minister says Sanna Marin at a press conference in Stockholm.
“I think at this stage it is very important to move forward. If we do not resolve these issues before Madrid, there is a risk that the process will freeze in place. We don’t know how much, but it can freeze for a while, ”Marin is quoted by the France-Presse agency.
The prime minister stressed that Finland takes Turkey’s concerns “seriously” and wants to consider them and “if there are any misunderstandings, correct them.”
“Of course, we take all issues very seriously and are negotiating, but I also believe that Turkey also has a responsibility to try to find solutions at this stage,” Marin added.
According to the prime minister, Turkey had previously stated that Finland and Sweden would “gladly be accepted into NATO”, but Ankara changed its position after the applications were submitted.
Finland and Sweden against the background of the events in Ukraine on May 18 handed over to the NATO Secretary General an application for joining the alliance. Turkey has blocked the start of the review process for these applications. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Ankara could not say “yes” to the membership of Finland and Sweden in NATO, because it could not believe their assurances about relations with representatives of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, banned in Turkey.
Moscow has repeatedly noted that the alliance is aimed at confrontation. As the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation emphasized Dmitry Peskovfurther expansion of the bloc will not bring greater security to Europe. At the same time, he does not consider the entry of Sweden and Finland into this organization an existential threat to Russia. The president Vladimir Putin noted that abandoning the traditional policy of military neutrality of Helsinki would be erroneous, since there are no threats to Finland.