PanamaTimes

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024

NATO chief: ‘My aim’ is for Sweden to join alliance by July

NATO chief: ‘My aim’ is for Sweden to join alliance by July

In an interview with POLITICO, Jens Stoltenberg lauds Finland’s NATO breakthrough on Thursday and argues that Sweden could still join soon.
Sweden could still become a NATO member by summer, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told POLITICO on Thursday as Finland moved ahead on its own to join the military alliance.

The two Nordic countries initially applied to join NATO together last year, but their fates diverged Thursday after Turkey ratified Finland’s bid while leaving Sweden behind — the product of a lingering dispute over the country’s support for Kurdish groups and limitations on arms exports.

Stoltenberg insisted in an interview that Sweden could still get its own green light after Turkey’s May elections. Turkey’s relationship with Sweden has grown especially contentious ahead of the elections, following a Quran-burning protest in Stockholm earlier this year.

“My aim remains that after the Turkish elections, but before the Vilnius summit, we can also have the ratification of Sweden,” the secretary-general said from NATO headquarters in Brussels, referencing the alliance’s annual gathering on July 11.

He did not say, however, if that would require a change in governments. Long-time Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is regularly accused of democratic backsliding, is facing a serious threat to his power for the first time in years.

Stoltenberg stressed that the decision is ultimately up to Turkey. Hungary has also withheld ratification, but Turkey is seen as the ultimate roadblock for Sweden.

“We speak about sovereign national parliaments, and of course, I cannot provide any guarantees on behalf of them,” he said.

The NATO chief argued that even getting Finland into NATO after months of delays — also the result of Turkey-led objections over similar issues — shows the military alliance is working amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Finland’s final ratification “demonstrates that NATO’s door remains open,” he said. Russian President Vladimir Putin, he added, got “the opposite of what he wanted — and Finland will make NATO stronger.”

If both Finland and Sweden join the alliance, Stoltenberg noted, 96 percent of the European Union’s population will soon live in a NATO country.

“Today is an historic day,” he proclaimed.

But probed about the lagging Swedish bid, which has fueled a degree of frustration within the alliance, the secretary-general expressed hope that Turkey could sign off on Sweden’s membership between the May 14 election and the July summit.

Stoltenberg underscored that, in his view, Stockholm has done its part to address Ankara’s concerns.

“Sweden has met their obligations under the trilateral memorandum that was agreed,” he said, referencing a deal Ankara struck with both Helsinki and Stockholm that spurred policy changes in both countries.

“There were hard negotiations, but Sweden has proven that they are stepping up their cooperation with Turkey, fighting terrorism, exchanging more intelligence, information — and there are no restrictions on arms exports” from Sweden to Turkey, he added.

The secretary-general also reiterated that even though Sweden is not yet a member of the club, it is not alone.

“Sweden is in a total different situation, and much more secure now than before they applied,” he said.

“They’re now sitting at the NATO table,” he said, pointing out that the alliance has boosted its presence in the region and some allies have given Sweden security assurances.

“I will work hard to get the ratification of Sweden in place as soon as possible,” Stoltenberg said. “But no, it’s not as if in this meantime Sweden is alone, without any friends, without any security.”

“It’s inconceivable,” the secretary-general said, “that we will not react if there’s any military threat.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×