After Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine, Finland and Sweden needed more security to combat a possible Russian onslaught.
By RMN News Service
At the invitation of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, senior officials from Türkiye, Finland and Sweden met with senior NATO officials at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on 20 June.
Chaired by Stian Jenssen, Director of the Secretary General’s Private Office, the talks focused on the security concerns raised by Türkiye in order to make progress on the NATO membership applications by Finland and Sweden.
The Turkish delegation was led by Ambassador İbrahim Kalın, Presidential Spokesperson and Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Türkiye. The Finnish delegation was led by Petri Hakkarainen, Director of Foreign and Security Policy in the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland. The Swedish delegation was led by Oscar Stenström, State Secretary with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the Security Policy Council, in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden.
In May, Finland and Sweden had simultaneously handed in their official letters of application to join NATO. Mr Stoltenberg had said in April that NATO would welcome Finland and Sweden “with open arms” if they chose to apply for membership in the Alliance.
Finland and Sweden have decided to join NATO despite Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s warning that Moscow would retaliate if NATO deployed military infrastructure on the territories of Finland or Sweden.
After Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine, Finland and Sweden needed more security to combat a possible Russian onslaught. Once their membership to NATO is confirmed, it will be difficult for Russia to attack them.
“I welcome the constructive meeting held today on the historic applications by Finland and Sweden to join NATO,” said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He added: “Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO would make the Alliance stronger and the whole Euro-Atlantic area more secure. Türkiye has legitimate security concerns over terrorism that we need to address. So we will continue our talks on Finland and Sweden’s applications for NATO membership, and I look forward to finding a way forward as soon as possible.”
The talks followed a series of meetings in recent weeks designed to address Türkiye’s security concerns and make progress on Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership applications. According to NATO, the discussions will continue in the coming days.
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