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NATO chief wants Sweden, Finland in alliance ‘soon’ — but can’t guarantee it – POLITICO

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg “aims” to get Finland and Sweden into the navy alliance “soon” regardless of Turkey’s objections, however cautioned that he “cannot guarantee” the swift timeline.

Speaking at a POLITICO occasion on Wednesday, the NATO chief indicated that whereas negotiations between the three international locations are nonetheless underway, no answer had been discovered but, lower than per week earlier than a extremely anticipated summit kicks off in Madrid.

“My aim is still to make sure that they [Sweden and Finland] can join soon,” Stoltenberg mentioned. “I cannot guarantee, but I’m saying that’s still my aim.”

NATO leaders are set to log out on key selections subsequent week, together with a bolstered japanese flank presence and an up to date long-term technique doc. But with just some days left earlier than the summit, Finland’s and Sweden’s bids to affix to the alliance are nonetheless not settled.

While there may be broad assist for the international locations’ membership, the choice so as to add a brand new NATO member requires approval from all 30 allies. And Turkey has raised objections to Sweden and Finland’s bids, accusing each international locations of supporting Kurdish teams it deems terrorists.

“This is not the first time we see one or just a few allies is not agreeing with the rest,” Stoltenberg mentioned, expressing optimism that Ankara’s opposition is not going to forestall Helsinki and Stockholm from finally becoming a member of.

The former Norwegian prime minister additionally insisted that NATO allies have the power to proceed offering Ukraine with weapons “as long as it takes,” a press release that comes amid Ukrainian warnings that it is operating low on ammunition and changing into more and more reliant on shipments of weapons from Western allies.

NATO allies, Stoltenberg mentioned, have a “political and moral obligation” to not let up on weapons shipments.

“We should maintain support deliverables of modern weapons, heavy weapons, as NATO allies have now done for a long time, and also that NATO has a role to play in providing support,” Stoltenberg careworn. He underlined that the warfare in Ukraine truly began again in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and backed fighters in japanese Ukraine.

The warfare in Ukraine will likely be a “long-haul” effort, Stoltenberg careworn.

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