The US administration is convinced that Sweden and Finland’s formal accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will soon be completed, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said at a joint press conference after talks with Finnish and Swedish counterparts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Finland and Sweden are ready to become NATO allies. Their military has served side by side with US and NATO troops in Kosovo and Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya,” the head of US diplomacy was quoted in the world media. According to him, the armed forces of Finland and Sweden cooperate “seamlessly with the forces of the alliance.” “I am confident that NATO will formally accept Finland and Sweden as members as soon as possible after the NATO summit (in June) in Madrid. Both countries have taken significant concrete steps to fulfill their commitments, including those related to with the safety of our ally Turkey,” Blinken added. According to him, both countries are already practically integrated into the functioning of the alliance.
The foreign minister believes that the process of joining Sweden and Finland to NATO is “progressing at record speed”. “We have never seen the process of accepting new members move so quickly. All 30 member states have signed the protocols, 28 of them have ratified it, and two more remain to be ratified,” added the head of the US State Department.
He added that the process of Stockholm and Helsinki joining NATO “will not become a bilateral issue between the United States and Turkey.” “As part of the process, one of the alliance members raised concerns that are now being addressed directly by that country and potential new members. In the United States, not only from the president, the executive branch, but also from our Congress, is significant support for Finland and Sweden to become members of the alliance as quickly as possible… We announced this to Turkey as a NATO ally and publicly noted the readiness of Sweden and Finland to become members of the alliance, says the head of state Dept.