Finland rules out NATO membership without Sweden

Both countries applied to join the alliance on May 18. Turkey opposes their membership. Russia said that NATO expansion in the region does not pose a “threat”, but retaliatory measures will be taken

Jens Stoltenberg and Sauli Niinistö

Finland will not join NATO without Sweden, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said during a press conference with the General NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, who arrived on a visit to Finland. On June 13, Stoltenberg will visit Sweden.

“I say that the Swedish thing— our. This means that we will go forward hand in hand,— said Niinistö (NRK quote).

Helsinki and Stockholm applied to join the alliance on 18 May. All member countries must approve their membership in NATO, but Turkey opposed the accession of these northern European countries to the bloc. Ankara is unhappy with the fact that they gave asylum to members of organizations recognized as terrorist in Turkey— for example, the Kurdistan Workers' Party – and did not issue them at the request of the Turkish side. In addition, Sweden and Finland imposed sanctions against the republic.

Stoltenberg stressed at a press conference that the allies, when considering applications from Helsinki and Stockholm, would take into account the concerns of all parties, including Ankara. “Therefore, I remain in close contact with you, Sauli, and your colleagues, with Sweden and with our ally Turkey on this issue. My staff is also in close dialogue with officials from all three countries to resolve legitimate Turkish issues and move forward with your entry into our alliance,— he told the Finnish leader.

Sweden and Finland, previously pursuing a policy of military neutrality, decided to become members of the alliance against the backdrop of a potential “Russian threat”. Both countries plan to join NATO on the condition that no military bases or nuclear weapons will be placed on their territory.

For the rapid accession of the two states to the alliance, US President Joe Biden spoke. He supported Stoltenberg's efforts in resolving this issue, but emphasized that it is necessary to take into account the security interests of all allies. French leader Emmanuel Macron, commenting on Turkey's objections, said that it should “respect the sovereign choice” candidates for membership of the alliance, and expressed hope for a speedy resolution of the issue.

Read on RBC Pro Pro James Bond and 4 more types of candidates who HR dislike Pro instructions Why we lose mental stability and how to regain it Pro instructions How to work less and increase productivity: 4 tips Articles Pro Does music really help you relax and focus Articles Pro x The Economist Why the tightening of the European Central Bank's policy threatens the Italian economy Russian President Vladimir Putin has pointed out that the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO does not pose an “immediate threat”; country. “This is a problem that is created, in my opinion, completely artificially in the foreign policy interests of the United States. <…> But the expansion of military infrastructure in the territory of this region will certainly provoke our response,— Putin said.

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