NATO does not rule out separate memberships for Sweden and Finland

NATO does not rule out separate memberships for Sweden ;de and Finland


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured on Tuesday “to work hard” to obtain “as soon as possible” the last ratifications of the accessions of Sweden and Finland to NATO by Turkey and Hungary, without ruling out separate memberships. 

“The main question is not whether the accessions of Finland and Sweden are ratified together, but that they are both ratified as soon as possible,” he told a meeting of ministers. of Defense of the Alliance in Brussels.

“I am convinced that they will both be ratified and I am working hard to ensure that they are ratified as soon as possible”, he said. added.

The leaders of NATO's 30 member countries took the decision to invite Sweden and Finland to join the Alliance at their summit in Madrid in July 2022. Thirty countries signed the accession protocols and 28 signed them. ratified, he recalled. Only Turkey and Hungary have not yet had their agreement for the membership of the two Nordic countries ratified.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested in early February for the first time that the Turkish Parliament could ratify the accession of Finland without that, jointly deposited, of Sweden.

The decision of the Swedish authorities to authorize a demonstration in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, during which a Koran was burned, provoked the ire of Ankara which put a halt to negotiations after the postponement a tripartite meeting scheduled for February.

A majority of Finns said they were in favor of their country joining NATO without waiting for Sweden. But the leaders of the two countries have reaffirmed their desire to join it together.

The organization of presidential and legislative elections in Turkey in May could delay the ratification of accessions, because the work of the grand assembly should be suspended in March, according to a diplomatic source. The earthquake which devastated the south of the country could, however, postpone the date of the elections.

Sweden and Finland are already very integrated within NATO with their status as guest countries. They participate in all meetings, including those of the military committee, and have obtained security guarantees from the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands until their integration into the Alliance.