“I am confident that we will come to a quick decision to welcome Finland and Sweden to the NATO family,” said Stoltenberg on Thursday at a joint press conference with Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen.
But the head of NATO also emphasized: “The security interests and concerns of all alliance partners must be taken into account.” NATO has a long tradition of reaching a common solution despite differing viewpoints.
Even if Turkey continues to block Sweden’s admission, there will be no separate procedure for Finland, Stoltenberg said. “Sweden and Finland applied together. We’re treating this as a collective process.”
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was also optimistic about NATO’s northern expansion: “All 30 NATO countries, including Turkey, have an interest in strengthening our alliance.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the other hand, declared on state broadcaster TRT on Thursday that he would stand by his no to the Nordic countries’ accession. “Sweden is a true nest of terror,” said Erdogan. Turkey blocked the start of admission talks in the NATO Council on Wednesday, citing alleged support for the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK and the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG.