The United States administration is confident that the formal admission of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will soon be completed, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a joint press conference after talks with Finnish and Swedish counterparts at the State Department.
“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 as saying in world media. According to him, the armed forces of Finland and Sweden “interact seamlessly with the forces of the alliance.” “I am confident that NATO will formally admit Finland and Sweden as members as soon as possible after the NATO summit (in June) in Madrid. Both countries have taken significant concrete actions to fulfill their commitments, including those related to with the security of our ally Turkey,” Blinken added. According to him, both countries are already practically integrated into the functioning of the alliance.
The Secretary of State believes that the process of joining Sweden and Finland to NATO “is proceeding at a record pace”. “We have never seen the process of accepting new members go so fast. All 30 member countries have signed the protocols, 28 of them have ratified it, and two more remain to ratify,” added the head of the American foreign policy department.
He added that the process of Stockholm and Helsinki joining NATO “will not become a bilateral issue between the US 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, there 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 Sweden‘s readiness and Finland to become members of the alliance,” said the head of the State Department.
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