Fri, May 20, 2022

international

Nato pressing ahead to admit Finland, Sweden despite Turkey’s concern


Nato will find a sensible solution to accept Finland and Sweden as new members to the alliance despite Turkish concerns, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevics said on Saturday.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was "unacceptable and outrageous" that prospective new Nato members gave support to the PKK Kurdish militant group, potentially complicating the alliance's enlargement.

"We have had those discussions in the alliance many times before. I think that we have always found sensible solutions and that we will find one this time also," Rinkevics told the media as he arrived for a meeting with his Nato counterparts in Berlin.

"Swedish and Finnish membership is of paramount importance to the whole alliance, and ultimately also to Turkey," he added.

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said Russian President Putin had inadvertently created a rebirth for Nato.

"Nato is evolving from being brain dead in 2019 to having a rebirth in 2022, thanks to Putin. Nato is also getting bigger now, I am convinced, without much effort, also thanks to Putin," he said.

Asseleborn said that while Turkey's concerns were reasonable, he could not imagine one country blocking Sweden and Finland's accession.

"If both countries want this, and it seems to be going in this direction, then none of the 30 countries should oppose it," he said.

Joining the 30-nation Western military alliance would end the neutrality of Sweden and Finland the two states maintained throughout the Cold War. It would further the expansion of Nato that Russian President Vladimir Putin said his invasion of Ukraine aimed to prevent.

Moscow has said Finland's entry into Nato poses a threat to which it will respond, but it has not specified how.

Nato foreign ministers will continue their meeting into Sunday.

Published : May 15, 2022

By : Reuters