Greece offers support as Finland, Sweden inch closer to seeking NATO membership

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Finland and Sweden are inching closer to seeking NATO membership amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, AP News reports.

Russia has long bristled about NATO moving closer to its borders, so the developments will be sure to anger Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has already warned his Finnish counterpart on Saturday that relations would be “negatively affected.”

German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, listens to NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, who speaks from a video screen during an informal meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Foreign Ministers’ session in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Photo: AP Photo/Michael Sohn.

But NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Sunday the process for Finland and Sweden to join could be very quick. He also didn’t expect Turkey to hold up the process.

Stoltenberg, who was speaking by video link as he recovers from COVID-19, said his understanding is that Turkey aims not to keep Finland or Sweden out but rather to have its concerns addressed first.

“Turkey has made it clear that their intention is not to block membership,” he said.

For its part, Greece has also said it will not block Finland or Sweden’s ascension to the trans-Atlantic alliance.

Rather, Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, said in Berlin on Saturday that Greece is “ready to welcome” both countries in the NATO family.

Source: AP News.

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