Optimism is growing over the breakthrough for Finland, Sweden’s NATO membership in Madrid
Although few may remember what happened at last year’s summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 2022 could be much more memorable.
Speculation grew on Tuesday that the NATO summit in sunny Madrid this week could see another successful push for the entry of two new members – Finland and Sweden – in order to strengthen the alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said to Svenska Dagbladet on Tuesday that her country was “prepared for something positive to happen today, but it could also take longer.”
And Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said earlier on Tuesday in Helsinki that talks between diplomats had gone better and “understanding has increased somewhat on both sides.”
Ian Bremmer, CEO and founder of Eurasia Group, a global research and consulting firm for political risks, tweeted on Tuesday that “a breakthrough” could happen soon:
Turkey stands in the way of the Nordic countries joining – a unanimous vote is required of all NATO members – is Turkey, which is dissatisfied with the alleged support from Finland and Sweden for Kurdish militants.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, Swedish Prime Minister Andersson and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg were expected to meet on Tuesday. Erdoğan also spoke with President Joe Biden earlier on Tuesday – the White House said it would state publicly and privately that the expansion would take place.
“We are convinced that they will eventually become members of the Alliance,” and Turkey’s concerns will be met. said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday aboard Air Force One en route to Madrid.
“We do not want empty words, we want results,” Erdogan said told reporters before heading to the Madrid summit on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Russia’s former president Dmitry Medvedev said whether the two countries would be adopted by NATO, his country. could sharpen these boundaries and possibly install hypersonic missiles or warships with nuclear weapons “on their doorstep.”
The two countries applied to join NATO in May, a major change from the past when military alliances were avoided. Finland stands between Russia on one side, where it shares a border of more than 800 km and Sweden and Norway on the other.
Ahead of the NATO summit and the summit of the seven that just ended, Russia fired a missile at the capital Kyiv on Sunday and struck a crowded shopping center in Ukraine’s central city of Kremenchuk on Monday.