Türkİye, Politics, World

Finland, Sweden accession to be 'unprecedentedly quick,' says NATO chief

Nordic countries could be part of alliance within 'few weeks,' says Stoltenberg in his doorstep remarks

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 29.06.2022
Finland, Sweden accession to be 'unprecedentedly quick,' says NATO chief NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg


The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is expected to be "unprecedentedly quick, within few weeks," the military alliance's chief said on Wednesday in his doorstep remarks at the ongoing Madrid summit.

Asked by Anadolu Agency whether Türkiye, Finland and Sweden have determined a calendar after signing Tuesday's memorandum, Jens Stoltenberg said: "Well, Finland and Sweden have already taken steps to tighten their legislation on terrorism. So, this is something which has already started to be implemented."

"And I think this agreement is extremely important because it reflects the commitment we have to stand together as allies to address all our security concerns, of course also including the fight against terrorism," he added.

The memorandum allows the two Nordic countries to become NATO members but conditions them to take steps on Türkiye's terrorism concerns and lifts an arms embargo on Ankara.

It also states that Finland and Sweden will work closely with Türkiye on issues related to exchange information, extradition and in general the fight against terrorism.

Noting that they will make a decision during the day to invite the Nordic countries to become members, he said the accession process will be "unprecedentedly quick."

Although there will be a ratification process in 30 parliaments of the members, Stoltenberg said that he cannot promise but he expects the process to be completed "quickly" and added: "I think we can hardly find any other accession process with so few weeks between the application that happened mid-May, and the invitation that will happen now."

'Transformative summit'

Underlining that the Madrid summit will be "a transformative summit" because "historic decisions" will be made by the member states, Stoltenberg said that allies will agree on a new Strategic Concept and a “fundamental shift to our deterrence and defense.”

"And then the leaders will also make a historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO," he added.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin would be “getting more NATO" on his country's western border.

Johnson said that having two new members in NATO is "a big step for our alliance,” referring to Sweden and Finland.

Regarding a memorandum signed on Tuesday by Türkiye, Sweden and Finland, Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said that they welcome Ankara’s "abolition of the veto very positively."

"Spain is a country that has a Patriot missile defense system in Türkiye. We respect the position of each country, but yesterday a great effort was made to convey the message of unity," she said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also welcomed the agreement.

"This is a very, very important thing for us. Both countries fit very well into our alliance," Scholz said at the summit.

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