NATO doing 'everything' to ensure Sweden, Finland join 'quickly'
The NATO Summit at the end of June will look into the accession of Sweden and Finland.
NATO's Deputy Secretary-General, Camille Grand, said that Sweden and Finland's accession to the Atlantic Alliance will be taken under consideration at the coming summit, which is set to take place late in June.
Turkey, however, is still threatening to block the process.
The leaders of NATO's 30 member states will meet in the Spanish capital from June 28 to 30. Sweden and Finland's accession to the alliance requires a unanimous agreement by all members.
In an interview on RTS, Grand said he was optimistic that a consensus may be reached on both countries' accession, "it is important to show that this Finnish and Swedish request is taken into account by all the allies, including Turkey. We are doing everything to move forward quickly and avoid negotiations that stretch out over time."
Grand said that NATO does not plan to provide guarantees to Russia about the non-deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of Sweden and Finland if they join the alliance.
On May 25, Sweden and Finland held talks pertaining to their accession to NATO with Turkey in Ankara. Finland and Sweden handed in their bids to join the US-led military alliance NATO on Wednesday 18th of May. The two countries have been expected to apply to join NATO and promised they would be granted membership quickly, according to diplomats and officials.
On Monday 23rd of May, Erdogan stated that if Turkey agrees to the Nordic states’ bid for joining NATO, then it will no longer “be a security organization, but will become a place where there will be many representatives of terrorists." In other words, Turkey cannot give NATO a unanimous vote to accept the bids as that would threaten its national security, as per the Turkish President.
Erdogan has refused to allow both countries to join NATO without primarily taking into consideration their support for the Kurdistan Workers' Party and Kurdish YPG, both of which were designated as terror groups by Ankara.