NATO rejects deadline to host Sweden and Finland at Madrid summit

Stoltenberg: NATO does not consider the Madrid summit as a deadline for hosting Finland and Sweden According to Stoltenberg, NATO does not see the summit as a deadline for hosting Finland and Sweden. He once again stressed that Turkey's concerns are legitimate

Jens Stoltenberg and Sauli Niinistö

NATO does not consider the Madrid summit from 28 to 30 June as a deadline for hosting Finland and Sweden, said Secretary General organization Jens Stoltenberg at a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.

“We don't see the Madrid summit as a deadline for Sweden and Finland to join,” — Stoltenberg said, answering a journalist's question, whether NATO will be able to remove Turkey's objections to the admission of these two countries by the time it is held.

According to the Secretary General, Turkey's security concerns are legitimate.

At the same time, Niinistö said that Turkey's objections to his country's accession to NATO came as a surprise to him. “I was surprised by the position of Turkey, but we must take seriously the topics on which it expresses concern. Let's hope that we can find a solution that will suit everyone,— he said.

Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO after the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine. The countries officially applied to join the alliance on May 18.

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NATO membership requires consideration of applications by the North Atlantic Council— NATO's main political governing body. After that, the agreement on the membership of countries in the alliance must be ratified at the national level in all 30 countries that are in the military-political bloc.

Turkey opposed the entry of Sweden and Finland. According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, these countries gave asylum to members of organizations recognized as terrorist by Ankara, in particular the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and also imposed sanctions against the republic. Stoltenberg had previously urged that Ankara's concerns be taken into account and that “any security-related problems” be resolved.

Negotiations were held between the parties at the end of May, but they were unsuccessful. Erdogan then called the representatives of Sweden and Finland “dishonest and insincere.” Later, Turkish presidential adviser Fahrettin Altun said that Finland and Sweden should not waste time negotiating with NATO, as Turkey's position remains unchanged.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking about the desire of Sweden and Finland to become members NATO, said that the Kremlin regards this as a threat. According to him, Moscow's actions will depend on how the “expansion process” will be expressed; and how the military infrastructure of the alliance will move.

Now Sweden and Finland have the status of states— NATO partners. The bloc members are 30 countries, including Denmark and Norway.

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