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News > Finland

There Will Be More NATO in Europe, Stoltenberg Tells Russia

  • NATO soldiers.

    NATO soldiers. | Photo: Twitter/ @KanekoaTheGreat

Published 20 March 2023

Washington longs to expand its range of geopolitical influence without worrying about the consequences for world peace.

On Monday, Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said that "the most important thing" is that Sweden and Finland become full members of the Alliance "as soon as possible," even if the these countries do not join at the same time.


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His remarks came before a meeting in Brussels, where Finnish ministers Pekka Haavisto (Foreign Affairs) and Antti Kaikkonen (Defense) were also present. 

Stoltenberg said that it is "a great pleasure" to see them at NATO headquarters, although the pleasure will be "even greater" when they are received as full members of the Alliance.

Previously on Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the Turkish parliament would start the ratification process for Finland's entry into NATO.

However, the Turkish government mentioned that the Finnish membership should be separated from the Swedish process.

To justify this stance, Erdogan argued that Sweden does not comply with the demands to extradite Kurdish militants that Turkey considers linked to terrorist organizations.

"I am glad about Turkey's announcement that they will now move forward with the ratification of the Finnish membership. I hope that the Turkish National Assembly in Ankara can make a quick decision on the ratification," the NATO Secretary said, adding that Hungary will vote on the ratification of Finnish accession next week.

"There will be more NATO in Europe," Stoltenberg said, emphasizing that NATO's border with Russia will increase by 1,300 kilometers when Finland joins the Alliance.

"It is absolutely inconceivable that there is any threat against Finland or Sweden without NATO reacting," he warned.

Finnish Minister Haavisto hopes his country and Sweden will be full members of the Alliance before the summit of allied leaders to be held in Vilnius on July 11. "We feel that our membership will not be completed until Sweden is also part of NATO," he stressed.

"We welcome the progress which is now made on finalizing the ratification of Finland, and we will continue to work hard. It will be a top priority to ensure that also Sweden will become a full member in the near future," Stoltenberg replied.

For Finland and Sweden to enter the transatlantic organization, it is necessary for the 30 NATO members to ratify their membership. At the moment, Hungary and Turkey are the only allies that have not done so.

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