Nordic states vow to protect Finland, Sweden during NATO application

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Norway, sweden, nordic flags (photo credit: REUTERS)

Norway, Denmark and Iceland strongly support Finland and Sweden joining NATO and will support the two countries “by all means necessary” if they come under attack.

Sweden‘s Social Democrat minority government on Monday took the formal decision to apply for NATO membership, following in the footsteps of its neighbor Finland in a move that will redraw the geopolitical map of northern Europe.

“There is a broad majority in Sweden’s parliament for joining NATO,” Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said following a debate on security policy in parliament. “The best thing for Sweden and the Swedish population is to join NATO.”

Norway, Denmark and Iceland strongly support Finland and Sweden joining nato and will support the two countries “by all means necessary” if they come under attack, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement.

Denmark will assist Finland and Sweden if they will be victims of aggression on their territory before obtaining NATO membership, by all means, immediately initiating preparations in order to solidify these security assurances, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen added.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said Canada was in favor of a “quick” accession to the NATO military alliance for Sweden and Finland.

“Canada not only favors their accession (to NATO), I would say we favor a quick accession of these two countries,” Joly told reporters on Monday.

Sweden’s government has formally decided to apply for NATO membership, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday, a day after Finland said it will also apply for membership in NATO.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated he fully supports Sweden’s decision to join the North Atlantic NATO military alliance, of which France is a member, the Elysee presidential office said on Monday.

Turkey, which had surprised its allies in recent days by saying it had reservations about Finnish and Swedish membership, laid out its demands on Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin. Ankara said it wanted the Nordic countries to halt support for Kurdish militant groups present on their territory, and lift bans on some sales of arms to Turkey.

“I’m confident that we will be able to address the concerns that Turkey has expressed in a way that doesn’t delay the membership,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special operation,” has highlighted Sweden and Finland’s vulnerabilities despite their close cooperation with NATO in recent years.

Moscow has no hostile intentions toward Finland and Sweden and does not see “real” reasons for those two countries to be joining the NATO alliance, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in a statement.

He also reiterated the Kremlin’s earlier statement that Moscow’s response to NATO’s possible expansion will depend on how close the alliance moves military assets toward Russia and what infrastructure it deploys.

Russia is too bogged down in Ukraine to be a military threat to Finland or Sweden, although it can still employ economic measures, such as cutting off energy to Finland. The significance of that to the two Nordic countries pales in comparison to the thought of becoming the next Ukraine.

Source: JPOST

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