Bush Jr appreciated the promise not to expand NATO with the words “times are changing”

Pranksters who spoke with the ex-president on behalf of Zelensky recalled the promise not to expand NATO, in response, Bush explained that Washington must adapt to the times. He also stated that he wanted to see Ukraine in the alliance

George W. Bush

Former US President George W. Bush said he would like to see Ukraine in the EU and NATO and expected Russia to be more accommodating on this issue. The video with the former head of state was shown by pranksters Vovan and Lexus, who called him on behalf of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, at the New Horizons marathon. society “Knowledge”.

“I felt that Ukraine should be in the EU and NATO”,— Bush Jr. said when asked if he wanted to see Ukraine in the North Atlantic alliance.

Commenting on a remark that former State Department chief James Baker promised Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand the alliance eastward, Bush Jr. pointed out that “times are changing.”

“Baker was secretary of state under my father, that was many years ago. This means that the United States also needs to adapt flexibly to the times. And that is why now you find such powerful support for our country, & mdash; he said.

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The ex-president noted that he wanted Ukraine to join NATO and thought that Russia would be “more accommodating”.

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“But then [Russian President Vladimir] Putin changed dramatically”,— Bush Jr. said. According to the ex-president, Putin wanted to stay “on the edge of NATO” in order to control that the alliance was not offensive, but defensive.

Putin said late last year that the West had repeatedly ignored Russian concerns about NATO expansion. According to the president, the alliance responded to Moscow's reminders of its promise not to expand eastward: “Where is it written on a piece of paper? There is not. Well, that's it, you go away. Putin also pointed out that the bloc “threw” and deceived Russia. After that, Moscow sent proposals on security guarantees to NATO and the United States, but consultations on this issue did not reach a result.

Ukraine fixed the course towards joining NATO in its Constitution under former President Petro Poroshenko in 2019. Russia calls the refusal of the Ukrainian side to join the alliance one of the main requirements when discussing a peace agreement with Kyiv (at the moment, negotiations on it are suspended). As the President of Russia explained in early March, Ukraine's intention to join the bloc could lead to a war between Russia and the entire alliance, since “No one recognizes Crimea as Russian.”

Kyiv after the start of the Russian military operation, he repeatedly said that the country was ready to be a neutral and non-nuclear state, but in return he demanded security guarantees from other countries. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that Ukraine had heard about the bloc's open doors for years, but realized that “it could not enter there.” NATO promised to respect any decision on Ukraine's membership.

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Erdogan’s party invites NATO to fight terrorism

The alliance must fight its “greatest battle” against terrorism, says the deputy head of the Justice and Development Party. He again spoke out against the support of Finland and Sweden for the Kurds, whom Turkey considers terrorists ” alt=”Erdogan's party proposed NATO to fight terrorism” />

NATO should focus on fighting terrorism, said Omer Celik, deputy head and official representative of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), NTV reports. .

“In any case, the new NATO member states must sever ties with terrorism. NATO's greatest battle must be against terrorism,— said Celik.

He again demanded that Sweden and Finland, who applied for membership in the alliance, express clearly and clearly their position in relation to organizations that Ankara considers terrorist.

“The question is not to convince Turkey (to support their applications. — RBC), but to convince these countries to stop supporting terrorist organizations»,— concluded Celik.

Turkey does not support Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Alliance because of their refusal to extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and FETO, whom it considers terrorists. Turkey also requires them to publicly recognize these associations as terrorist.

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The day before, the Financial Times wrote that Turkey, at a meeting of the alliance's ambassadors, blocked the start of negotiations on the accession of Finland and Sweden. National Security Adviser to the US President Jake Sullivan believes that in the end Turkey's fears will be resolved and the Scandinavian countries will join NATO.

Officially, Stockholm and Helsinki filed applications for joining the alliance on May 18.

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Beijing called on NATO and the EU for a comprehensive dialogue with Russia

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the international community should join forces to establish peace and “take concrete actions to cool the conflict, and not add fuel to the fire”

Wang Yi

China calls on NATO and The EU will start a comprehensive dialogue with Russia, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a video conference meeting with the Foreign Ministers of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), his words are quoted on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

He noted that the Ukrainian crisis is dragging on. “Arms deliveries cannot lead to peace in Ukraine, and sanctions and pressure cannot solve the problem of European security,” — says the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The global community must join forces to establish peace and “take concrete action to cool the conflict, not add fuel to the fire.” “China expects Russia and Ukraine to overcome difficulties and continue peace talks,” — noted by Wang Yi.

Beijing opposes forcing other countries to choose one side. According to the Chinese minister, the crisis affects the development of international trade and the stability of production and supply chains, threatening global food, energy and financial security. “Efforts should be made to reduce side effects, especially to support vulnerable developing countries in overcoming difficulties,” urged Wang Yi.

The minister wished the BRICS countries to adhere to the “principles of independence, objectivity and impartiality” in the Ukrainian problem, and also to do everything possible to establish peace.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would like China to side with his country. Kyiv also expects that Beijing will act as one of the guarantors of the republic's security.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a conversation with US President Joe Biden, called the crisis in Ukraine “not something China would like to see.” In his opinion, the conflict is not in anyone's interests, and the United States and China should take “due international responsibility and make efforts for world peace and tranquility.” The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zhao Lijian, speaking about the position of the PRC, argued that the Chinese side has always taken “the initiative of reconciliation and negotiations.”

Beijing did not join the sanctions against Russia after the start of the military operation.

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Croatian president urges to prevent Finland and Sweden from joining NATO

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic believes that Zagreb, following Ankara, should prevent Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. The prime minister, who is having a “fierce dispute” with Milanovic, and the Croatian Foreign Minister do not agree with him

Zoran Milanovic

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic believes that his country should follow Turkey's example and try to prevent Sweden and Finland in NATO, reports AP.

According to the agency, Croatian Prime Minister Andrei Plenkovic does not agree with Milanovic; politicians have a “fierce argument” on a number of issues, including whether to support the application of the Scandinavian countries to join the North Atlantic Alliance.

According to Milanovic, before the Croatian parliament votes on the issue of NATO expansion, Zagreb must achieve changes in the electoral legislation of neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. The president is pushing for electoral reform that would give Bosnian Croats a better chance at high-ranking positions in that country. He demands that Bosnia and Herzegovina “change the electoral law within the next six months and give Croats their basic rights.”

Plenkovic, reacting to Milanovic's words, suggested its position at the meeting of leaders of the countries— NATO members in the presence of US President Joe Biden, rather than refer the issue to the Croatian Parliament, reports Euractiv. The prime minister said earlier that he had cut off contacts with the president because of the latter's pro-Russian views.

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The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is also supported by Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlich-Radman. At the end of April, during a conversation with his Finnish colleague Pekka Haavisto, the minister said that Zagreb supports the alliance's open door policy and will support Helsinki if an application is submitted.

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Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance on May 18, now they must be considered by the NATO Council. The discussion was supposed to start on the same day, however, according to the Financial Times, the talks broke down because of Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that he was not ready to support the entry of the Scandinavian countries into the bloc, because they imposed sanctions against Ankara and refused to extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, whom Turkey considers terrorists.

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The French Foreign Ministry said that NATO and the EU do not want to fight with Russia

French Foreign Ministry: NATO and the EU are not at war with Russia and do not want this NATO does not want a war with Russia, the French Foreign Ministry is sure. They believe that Moscow is expelling diplomats for “false reasons.” Previously, Lavrov said that Western countries have declared a “total hybrid war” on Russia ” alt=”The French Foreign Ministry said that NATO and the EU do not want to fight with Russia” />

The French Foreign Ministry

Despite the help of Paris to Kyiv, France is not at war with Russia, neither would like to in NATO, not in the European Union, French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Clair Legendre told BFMTV.

“We are not at war with Russia, the EU is not at war with Russia, NATO is not at war with Russia. And we don't want to do that,— Legendre said.

Commenting on Russia's decision to expel 34 French diplomats, she said that Paris condemned the move because it saw “absolutely no reason” for it, and Moscow attributed it to “completely false reasons.”

“A month ago, we ourselves deported people from the Russian embassy who had diplomatic status, but, in our opinion, they acted for purposes contrary to our national security,” — emphasized the representative of the French Foreign Ministry.

At the same time, French President Emmanuel Macron will maintain a channel of dialogue with Moscow, Legendre added, explaining what is important for the issue of a ceasefire in Ukraine.

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The unwillingness of a direct clash with Russia was previously stated by American and European politicians and leaders. Even before the start of the Russian special operation, NATO and the United States indicated that under no circumstances would they send their troops to Ukraine, since this threatened a war with Russia. According to American President Joe Biden, the fighting in Ukraine does not require the direct participation of Washington, the White House said that they insist on a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

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In Moscow, it was pointed out that the supply of weapons by Western countries to Ukraine in the context of the ongoing special operation is close to the state of “proxy war”; with Russia. “If NATO, in fact, goes to war with Russia through a proxy and arms this proxy, then in war as in war,” — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned at the end of April.

In mid-May, the minister added that the West had declared an all-out hybrid war on Russia, and the Russian side was accepting the challenge. “It is difficult to predict how long this will all last, but it is clear that the consequences will be felt by everyone without exception,” — appreciated Lavrov.

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The US saw a chance to remove Turkey’s fears about Finland and Sweden in NATO

The White House is confident in its ability to resolve Turkey's concerns about Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Earlier, Erdogan called these countries a “guest house” for terrorists

Jake Sullivan

Turkey's doubts will be resolved and the NATO countries will unanimously decide on granting membership to Sweden and Finland, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said during a briefing. It was broadcast on YouTube.

“We are confident that in the end Finland and Sweden will go through an efficient and effective accession process, that Turkey's concerns can be resolved,”— Sullivan told (CNN quote).

He added that he held talks with the Turkish side on May 18, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will also meet with his Turkish counterpart. According to him, the presidential administration “very well” refers to the course of the negotiation process.

«The most remarkable thing in the free world, in the Western alliance, in NATO— it's that you have a noisy collection of states that all have opinions, all have perspectives, all have interests, but they also know how and when to unite and how to resolve any differences,”” noted Sullivan.

Later, Blinken met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Chavosoglu. After the conversation, the Turkish minister said that Ankara's fears should be taken into account “not in words, but in deeds.” He called it an unacceptable situation when a country that intends to become an ally of Turkey in the alliance imposes sanctions on it.

“What is the reason? Our fight against the PKK). They consider the PKK closer to themselves than to us. Is that something acceptable?,— Chavosoglu asked. He noted that this issue concerns not only Helsinki and Stockholm, but also other parties.

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Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance on May 18, now they must be considered by the NATO Council. According to Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Ankara will not support these applications, since Helsinki and Stockholm refused to extradite the terrorists and imposed sanctions. He also called these states “guest house”; for terrorists and warned that without the extradition of PKK members to Turkey, applications would not be approved.

According to the Financial Times, Turkey has blocked the discussion of Finland's and Sweden's applications to NATO. Now weeks of “diplomatic tension” are expected between Washington, Stockholm, Ankara and Helsinki, the newspaper writes.

According to Sabah, Turkey offered Sweden and Finland a ten-point manifesto, its acceptance as a condition for approval of the application for NATO membership. In particular, Ankara urges them to avoid contacts with the leaders of the PKK, refuse to accept PKK members to the parliaments of both countries, speed up the procedure for their extradition to Turkey, and refuse “contrary to the spirit of the alliance” directed against Turkey. actions and recognize the PKK and its offshoots as terrorist.

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FT learned of Turkey’s blocking of negotiations on Sweden and Finland in NATO

Ankara prevented the consideration of the applications of the two countries to join the alliance. Erdogan said earlier that Turkey will not approve the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO due to sanctions and the lack of a clear position towards the Kurds

Turkey blocked the start of negotiations in NATO on joining the North Atlantic Alliance of Finland and Sweden, according to the Financial Times, citing a source.

According to the newspaper, NATO ambassadors met on Wednesday, May 18, to discuss the applications for joining the bloc, which were submitted by Helsinki and Stockholm, but Ankara did not give negotiations begin.

NATO declined to comment on information about the blocking of negotiations and cited the statement of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that “it is necessary to take into account the security interests of all allies.” According to him, the alliance expects to “work through all the issues and come to a quick solution.”

The FT notes that the delay caused by Turkey's actions calls into question NATO's ability to conduct an accelerated procedure for approving the applications of the two countries, as previously promised in the alliance. According to the newspaper, “several weeks of diplomatic tensions” are expected. between the United States, Turkey, Finland and Sweden on this issue.

All 30 countries must ratify applications for membership in the alliance— members of the bloc, but this process can only begin after NATO issues an accession protocol and formally invites Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, the publication points out.

The Scandinavian countries filed formal applications to join NATO on May 18, they should be considered by the Council of the North Atlantic Alliance.

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Two days earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara could not support this decision, since Helsinki and Stockholm refused to extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and FETO, whom the Turkish authorities consider terrorists, do not expressed a clear position in relation to these organizations imposed sanctions against Ankara. He also advised Sweden and Finland to “not bother” attempts to negotiate with Turkey.

According to Bloomberg and the Sabah newspaper, Turkey put forward conditions in exchange for agreeing to admit Sweden and Finland to NATO. Among them— the recognition of the PKK as a terrorist organization in these countries, the return of Turkey to the training program for pilots of American F-35 fighters and the lifting of sanctions from it for the purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft complex from Russia.

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Austrian Chancellor called the question of the country’s membership in NATO irrelevant

Chancellor Karl Nehammer said he understands the desire of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, but in the case of Austria this is out of the question. According to the country's defense minister, “neutrality is in the heart of the Austrians”

Karl Nehammer

Austria's accession to NATO is not on the agenda, Chancellor Karl Nehammer said during a visit to Prague. This is reported by OE24.

“For Austria, this issue is not relevant,”— he said and added that the country is in a different position than Sweden and Finland, which share a common border with Russia. The chancellor says he understands why the Scandinavian countries want to join the defense alliance, but in the case of Vienna, “that's out of the question.”

Nehammer repeated the thesis that he expressed before the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine: “Austria was, is and will remain neutral.” declaring that “neutrality is in the heart of the Austrians”. At the same time, she added, neutrality needs to be discussed both in society and in parliament, especially given the Russian operation.

Austria has maintained a policy of neutrality since 1955, but cooperates closely with NATO. In particular, in May, Vienna resumed interaction with the block under the Partnership for Peace program. (program of NATO's bilateral military cooperation with non-alliance countries). Turkey blocked it in 2017 in response to Vienna's refusal to support the country's EU membership.

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On May 17, Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO. The documents will be considered by the North Atlantic Council, after which the agreement must be ratified in all 30 countries of the bloc. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier promised that if Helsinki and Stockholm want to join the alliance, they will promptly receive a positive response. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO does not pose a threat, but the expansion of military infrastructure in the territory of the Scandinavian countries “will certainly cause our response.”

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Bloomberg learned about Turkey’s demands for the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO

Ankara demands a return to the F-35 pilot training program, the lifting of sanctions for the purchase of Russian C-400s, as well as public condemnation by Sweden and Finland of the PKK banned in Turkey

For approving the inclusion of Sweden and Finland in NATO Turkey demands, among other things, the return to the F-35 pilot training program and the lifting of sanctions for the purchase of Russian C-400s. Bloomberg reports this with reference to several high-ranking Turkish sources.

Another condition— public condemnation by these two countries of Kurdish formations and the recognition of the PKK as a terrorist organization. Ankara also demands that Sweden and Finland lift restrictions on the supply of weapons to it, which have been in effect since 2019 due to Turkey's operation in Syria.

The interlocutors of the agency explained that Turkey's official consent to the return of Greece to NATO in 1980 is now is seen as a mistake that the Turkish leadership did not want to repeat with the Scandinavian countries (Turkey and Greece have disagreements over Cyprus).

Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO after the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine. On May 17, countries submitted official applications.

NATO membership requires consideration of applications by the North Atlantic Council— NATO's main political governing body. After that, the agreement on the membership of countries in the alliance must be ratified at the national level in all 30 countries that are in the military-political bloc.

On May 16, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara “can't say yes” for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. He explained this by the fact that the countries declared their unwillingness to extradite “terrorists” to Turkey. TRT wrote that Sweden and Finland refused to extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party and FETO (a movement that arose around the ideas of Turkish writer Fethullah Gülen, which Turkey considers involved in a coup attempt in 2016).

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In turn, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö noted that Erdogan's statements “confused” him, because the Turkish leader told him by phone that he would accept joining the alliance. Niinistö also announced his readiness to discuss membership issues with his Turkish counterpart.

In addition, the leader of the largest faction of the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, threatened Ankara with isolation if it impedes the admission of new NATO members. “Anyone who questions the unity of NATO will be isolated within the Commonwealth,” — he said.

Russia and Turkey signed a contract for the S-400 in December 2017. The first deliveries began in July 2019. The United States opposed Turkey's decision and excluded it from the F-35 supply program. The Pentagon feared that as a result, Russia could obtain the data necessary to counter the F-35.

In December 2020, the United States also imposed sanctions against Turkey due to the purchase of the C-400, prohibiting the issuance of licenses and export permits Turkish Defense Industry Authority (SSB), which concludes contracts for the purchase of military equipment.

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Why Hungary and Turkey interfere with the plans of the European Union and NATO

And will the two countries be able to achieve the cancellation of the initiatives criticized by Moscow The special positions of Hungary and Turkey hinder the efforts of the EU and NATO in their confrontation with Russia. What is the reason, does Budapest and Ankara have a desire to take into account the position of Moscow and how everything can end – RBC figured out

Statue of the Goddess of Europe in Brussels

On Wednesday, May 18, representatives of the EU countries will meet again in Brussels to discuss the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. But European leaders cannot expect that it will be adopted in the near future in the proposed form: the reason for this is the position of Hungary and the fact that decisions in the union are made on the basis of consensus.

A few days earlier, Turkey announced that he cannot agree to the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Why Hungary continues to insist on its veto

The sixth package contains a proposal to introduce a ban on the import of crude oil from Russia in six months, as well as on the import of Russian oil products from 2023. Even at the initial stage of discussing these measures, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were against the oil embargo, since they are heavily dependent on energy supplies from Russia. The European Commission decided to meet them halfway and allowed Hungary and Slovakia to continue importing Russian oil until the end of 2024, and the Czech Republic— until June 2024. After that, Bratislava and Prague withdrew their objections. However, Budapest is still not ready to withdraw its veto.

The position of the government of Viktor Orban was sharply criticized at the EU ministerial meeting on 16 May. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters that Hungary is holding the European Union hostage. “The whole union is being held hostage by one member state that cannot help us find a consensus,” — complained Landsbergis, specifying that the EU expected that Hungary's proposed delay would be enough for it to lift the veto.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stood up for Budapest, pointing out that Hungary's objections are not political, but economic. He explained that the country is concerned about the problem of creating new infrastructure and purchasing new equipment for receiving and processing oil not from Russia, for which its refineries are designed. In addition, the rejection of Russian oil will mean that Budapest will have to purchase it from other suppliers at higher prices, which will affect the Hungarian economy.

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Viktor Orban has previously compared ditching Russian oil to “a nuclear strike on the Hungarian economy.” On the air of Kossuth Radio, he recalled that Hungary has no access to the sea, and therefore it is forced to receive oil through the pipeline. “The pipeline to Hungary starts in Russia… that's the reality,” — he stated.

Hungary's dependence on Russian energy is really significant— 60% of oil and 85% of gas the country receives from Russia. Orban said the country needs five years to convert oil refineries and other infrastructure to process raw materials from non-Russian sources. This process will require huge investments, and the increase in the cost of oil will lead to an increase in unemployment and call into question the national program to reduce public utility costs, which is largely based on low prices for Russian energy resources.

The high inflation rate in the country and the budget deficit, including the blocking by Brussels of a €8 billion tranche intended for the recovery of the Hungarian economy after the pandemic (the reason was the divergence of views between Budapest and Brussels on the rule of law), carry significant risks for the country .

Against this backdrop, on May 16, Budapest decided to raise the stakes in the game: Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that “a complete modernization of the Hungarian energy infrastructure is needed on a scale from «15 billion to»18 billion”, later specifying that Hungary has the right to expect a new proposals from Brussels. At that time, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was in Budapest on a visit, but her negotiations with Orban ended in nothing.

According to the Euractiv portal, the clause on lifting the Hungarian veto from the sixth package of sanctions in exchange for economic preferences may be submitted to an informal EU summit scheduled for late May. The Financial Times quoted an unnamed European official as saying the EU should make the Hungarian prime minister a lucrative offer. “Orban is very pragmatic, it's business,” — he explained.

What is Turkey counting on in the dispute over NATO expansion

As for NATO expansion, Turkey's position has become an unexpected obstacle to the alliance between Sweden and Finland, says Asli Aydintashbash, senior political analyst at the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR). Ankara cannot yet give a positive conclusion on the admission of the two new countries, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Friday. “Scandinavian countries as guest houses for terrorist groups”, — he gave one of the reasons.

Indeed, Ankara has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the fact that many supporters of the PKK found refuge in Sweden and Finland. (PKK, classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey), as well as supporters of US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen (whom Ankara considers the organizer of the coup attempt in 2016).

On May 17, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö expressed hope that that the crisis can be overcome. “Turkey's statements have changed very quickly and become tougher in the last few days,” he said on Tuesday in an address to the Swedish parliament (quoted by Reuters).— But I am sure that with the help of constructive discussion we will solve the problem.

As Aydintashbash notes, it is not yet clear what exactly Erdogan wants— change the position of the US Congress on the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey (the deal was canceled after Ankara bought and received the Russian S-400 air defense system), get more money to support Syrian refugees or extradite political activists suspected of terrorist activities to Turkey.< /p>

“It is unlikely that Erdogan had one specific political goal in mind, but he will certainly expect to be persuaded, persuaded and rewarded for his cooperation, as he has been in the past,” concluded the ECFR analyst.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry describes relations with both northern countries in calm tones. As stated on the website of the department, relations with Sweden date back to the 17th century, when the Swedish king Charles XII, after being defeated in the Northern War by Russia in 1709, fled to the Ottoman Empire and ruled the kingdom from Bender and Edirne for five years. Diplomatic relations with Finland were established in 1924. Trade turnover with Sweden in 2020 amounted to about $2.6 billion, with Finland— approximately $1.3 billion.

The main problem is not in Finland, but in Sweden, says Al-Monitor. The kingdom has received several waves of Turkish migrants, including Kurds, as well as refugees from Turkey's neighboring countries, and the Swedish Foreign Ministry regularly criticizes Turkish military operations in Kurdish territories in Syria.

In 2019, Sweden and Finland imposed an arms embargo on Turkey due to military operations in Syria. By this time, both countries had become leaders among countries selling military goods to Ankara: Swedish military exports to Turkey in 2018 reached $30 million, Finnish exports in the same year amounted to $17 million. in the terrorist activities of immigrants (On Monday, the Turkish Ministry of Justice said that Ankara had requested the extradition of six members of the PKK from Finland and 11 from Sweden).

“Ankara's statements cause concern in Sweden, among other things, because they hit exactly one of the arguments that was cited by those who did not quite agree with joining NATO, — fear that Sweden will lose the right to vote in matters of human rights and democracy, — Paul Levine, director of the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University, told Al-Monitor.

“Based on the statements of the Turkish authorities, it can be assumed that Turkey will continue to insist on its position, will bargain for concessions from the two northern countries,— predicted in a conversation with RBC director of the Center for the Study of Modern Turkey, researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Amur Gadzhiev.— Will two countries go to give in, & mdash; this is a big question. We see that, on the contrary, there were marches against concessions, which indicates that the process will not be easy and it will not be easy for them to give in on these issues.

Other NATO countries no longer have leverage to influence Turkey so much, the expert notes, therefore, based on the previous experience of conflict situations involving the republic, one can expect, he believes, that a compromise option will appear, which will eventually be accepted by all parties.

According to Hajiyev, in the Turkish position, Ankara's intention to take into account Russia's negative position regarding the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO is not traced.

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WP learns of disagreements in NATO in connection with the presence in Eastern Europe

According to the publication, the Baltic countries and Poland demand the deployment of large NATO forces on their territories. At the same time, a number of European countries believe that this is too costly and will weaken their military potential in other parts of the world

Countries — members of the North Atlantic alliance cannot reach a compromise on the scale of the expansion of the alliance's military presence in Eastern Europe. The Washington Post (WP) reports this with reference to alliance documents.

According to the publication, disagreements are growing among European allies over how NATO's military presence in Eastern Europe will be built against the backdrop of Russia's special operation in Ukraine.

“The Baltic countries and Poland demand a significant expansion of the military presence on its territory and new capabilities, such as air defenses, which would greatly hamper a potential Russian invasion, — newspaper writes.

The publication says that against the backdrop of these requests, other members of the alliance, such as France and Italy, expressed skepticism about Russia's ability to pose a real threat to the allies in the foreseeable future.

At the same time, in the presence of such a threat, it is proposed to deploy in these countries, contingents of 20 thousand people each. At the same time, many states fear that the transfer of such significant forces to Eastern Europe will be too costly and will weaken their military potential in other parts of the world.

The publication indicates that a preliminary decision on the scale of the military presence in Eastern Europe should be made by the end of June, when the leaders of the countries of the alliance will gather for a summit in Madrid.

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Discussions on increasing the size of the NATO contingent in Eastern Europe have been going on for several months. On January 12, against the background of publications about the accumulation of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas spoke about negotiations with the alliance on this topic. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg subsequently said that such a measure would be considered in the event of the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. They began on February 24: Russia announced a special operation on “demilitarization and denazification” on the territory of a neighboring state.

Latvian President Egils Levits said in March that the country needed a permanent presence of US troops. According to him, the NATO contingent should be deployed on the eastern flank in the Baltics, Poland and Romania: such a move would be a “powerful signal” for Russia. on the readiness of the alliance to defend its member countries.

In addition, on March 24, the leaders of the alliance countries approved the deployment of additional combat groups in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. The Russian authorities expressed concern about the strengthening of NATO's eastern flank. In particular, the press secretary of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, said that the alliance de facto began this strengthening even before the official decision was made.

On May 14, the Baltic countries again asked NATO to increase their presence on their territory. Stoltenberg previously said that the alliance is working on plans to send permanent and full-scale military forces to the eastern borders to protect against a possible Russian attack.

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Sweden and Finland apply to join NATO

The ambassadors of Sweden and Finland applied for these countries to join NATO. Putin said that their entry into the alliance would not pose a threat to Russia, but it would respond if the military infrastructure in these territories was expanded. .

Now applications for membership must be considered by the Council of the North Atlantic Alliance— the main political governing body of NATO. Then the agreement on membership of the countries in the alliance must be ratified at the national level in all 30 countries included in the bloc.

Sweden and Finland declared their intention to join NATO NATO against the background of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. Finland noted that the decision on membership in the alliance is not directed against anyone. According to President Sauli Niinistö, the country wants to “strengthen its security.”

The material is being supplemented.

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The political scientist assessed the chances of deploying NATO infrastructure in Sweden and Finland

The bloc's activities on their territory may be restricted

In mid-May, Sweden and Finland officially announced their intentions to join the North Atlantic Alliance, although both countries had maintained a neutral status for many years. Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the entry of these countries into NATO does not pose a threat to Russia, but with the expansion of the bloc's military infrastructure, a response will follow. However, experts believe that military expansion may not happen, but much will depend on the development of the situation in Europe.

Photo: AP

In an interview with Lenta.ru, Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, said that there is a conditional Scandinavian model of participation in NATO, which implies certain restrictions on its activities on the territory of member countries from Northern Europe.

As an example, the political scientist cited Norway, which was one of the founders of the bloc, joined it in 1949, but its entry into NATO was accompanied by restrictions on infrastructure, the presence of foreign troops in Norway, and joint exercises.

According to the expert, this also applies to other Nordic countries, including Iceland and Denmark. Kortunov noted that everything depends on the specific situation that develops for different countries. Thus, the political scientist added that the same Norway, against the background of changes in the general situation in the world, began to treat NATO activities on its territory and in its territorial waters more favorably.

The specialist believes that much will depend on the development of the situation both in Europe as a whole and directly in Northern Europe. Kortunov finds it difficult to imagine that Sweden and Finland will be pushed towards deeper integration into various NATO projects. According to the political scientist, everything will depend on the firmness of these states in defending their interests, as well as their readiness to show restraint in matters of concern to Russia.

The expert stressed that the member countries of the bloc have no obligations to deploy NATO forces in their territories. According to Kortunov, states have the right to independently determine the format of interaction with other members of the Alliance. Thus, the political scientist cited Turkey as an example, which, during the American intervention in Iraq, did not allow the United States to use the NATO infrastructure deployed on its territory.

The specialist concluded that in case of conflicts there is pressure, but there are also disagreements in NATO, and on the example of the Iraq incident, you can see that there was a split inside the bloc.

Read also:Turkey's disapproval of the entry of Sweden and Finland worried NATO.

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Finnish parliament approves country’s accession to NATO

188 deputies out of 200 expressed their support for membership in the alliance. The counterproposal to refuse to join NATO was put forward in the Union of Left Forces, but it was not supported

The Finnish Parliament called for an application for NATO membership. 188 deputies voted out of 200, eight— against, three were missing, writes Yle. The majority of parliamentarians rejected the proposal of the deputy of the “Union of Left Forces” Markus Mustajärvi on refusing to join the military bloc.

In their speeches, representatives of various parties emphasized that Finland's intention to become a member of the alliance is not directed against anyone. Prime Minister Sanna Marin, speaking at the opening of the meeting, formulated the goal of joining NATO as follows: “If we are attacked, we will be helped. And if others are attacked, then we will help already.

On May 14, Marin and President Sauli Niinistö announced that the Finnish government had officially decided to join the North Atlantic Alliance and would submit an application after consultations with Parliament: for such a step, its approval is necessary. Now that the positive opinion of the deputies has been received, the State Council and the President should officially announce the submission of the application— this will happen on Tuesday, according to Yle. Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said that Helsinki plans to apply on May 18.

The Swedish authorities have also announced their intention to join NATO, Foreign Minister Ann Linde has already signed the application.

Turkey opposed the membership of the two Scandinavian states in the alliance: according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, these countries pander to organizations recognized by Ankara as terrorist — in particular the PKK. In addition, Helsinki and Stockholm imposed sanctions against the republic, so Turkey cannot support their entry into NATO, the head of state said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who previously said that he would do everything possible for the speedy entry of Sweden and Finland to the bloc, after Erdogan's statements, he called to take into account Ankara's fears. “Turkey is a valuable ally and any security issues must be resolved. We must be together at this historic moment,»— stressed Stoltenberg.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation with Niinistö called Finland's refusal of neutrality erroneous, since “no threats” there is no security in the country. Moscow will react “appropriately” in the event of the expansion of NATO's military infrastructure in Sweden and Finland, he warned.

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The Foreign Ministry refused to “please the West” by withdrawing from the act with NATO

Moscow will not withdraw from the Russia-NATO founding act, despite the “provocative fuss” of the alliance countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. In his opinion, this document is treated with disdain in the West

View of the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Moscow is not going to abandon the founding act Russia— NATO, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on the air of the Rossiya 24 channel. The Deputy Minister believes that Western countries are dismissive of this document and are engaged in “provocative fuss”; to bring Russia out of balance. “And at the same time, they discuss with each other what the fundamental act is, and in the end Russia came out of it. No, we won't give them that pleasure,” — he assured (quote from RIA Novosti).

Russia hears that at the upcoming NATO summit in June in Madrid, the members of the alliance are going to adopt an updated strategic concept, as well as a decision on additional deployment of forces and assets on the eastern flank, Ryabkov added. At the same time, according to him, there is a “paradoxical internal discussion” going on inside the bloc; whether it would be in accordance with the provisions of the act.

The Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between Russia and NATO was signed in Paris on May 27, 1997. The document provided for meetings and the establishment of a permanent representation of Russia to NATO in Brussels, as well as an information bureau and a military mission of the alliance in Moscow. In the fall of 2021, after NATO reduced the size of the Russian mission in Brussels, the Russian side suspended the activities of the military mission of the alliance in Moscow and the work of the Russian representation at the organization.

February 25, the day after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine , the North Atlantic Alliance said that Russia “rejected the path of diplomacy and dialogue” offered by NATO, and its actions were “a blatant rejection of the principles enshrined in the Russia's Founding Act — NATO».

In early February, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the act Russia— NATO is “virtually the only 'survivor' at the moment” an instrument of military restraint in Europe” and urged NATO Allies to keep it in mind as they develop plans for strengthening in the region. The block responded by saying that the agreement continues to exist, but “will not prevent us from doing what we have to do.”

The NATO summit will be held in Madrid on June 29-30. According to Reuters sources, members of the alliance may either before or during this meeting approve the application of Sweden and Finland to join the bloc. Prior to the accession of the Scandinavian countries to the alliance, NATO could strengthen its presence in the Baltic region, said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

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Erdogan ruled out the possibility of saying “yes” to Finland and Sweden in NATO

Erdogan: Turkey will not agree to approve the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO Turkey's position on the entry of Sweden and Finland is connected with their lack of an “unambiguous position” towards the Kurds, whom Ankara considers terrorists. In these countries, in addition to them, members of the movement (FETO) live “Erdogan ruled out the possibility of saying yes to Finland and Sweden in NATO” />

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey will not agree to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, Anadolu reports.

“We cannot say yes” the accession to NATO of those who imposed sanctions against Turkey,— Erdogan said.

He noted that the countries have declared their unwillingness to extradite terrorists to Turkey. TRT wrote that Sweden and Finland refused to extradite members of the PKK and FETO, whom the Turkish authorities consider terrorists. Erdogan added that these countries have not clearly expressed their position regarding the members of these organizations.

According to Erdogan, the arrival of delegations from Finland and Sweden to discuss their membership will not change Ankara's position. “Let them not trouble themselves,” — he noted.

Last week, Erdogan said that Ankara does not consider the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining NATO as a positive. He noted that the Scandinavian countries serve as a “guest house for terrorist organizations,” referring to the PKK, banned in Turkey. He noted that its members live in Sweden and the Netherlands and are members of parliaments.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö previously said that Erdogan's statements “confused” him, because he told him on the phone that he would accept entry into alliance. He also announced his readiness to discuss membership issues with his Turkish counterpart.

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According to Art. 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, the parties “by common consent” can invite any other European state to join the alliance.

After NATO members invite a third state, accession negotiations begin, then confirmations of its acceptance of obligations are sent, protocols are prepared and ratified by NATO countries. After that, the Secretary General offers the new country to join the agreement, and the necessary procedures are carried out within the country.

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How will the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO affect the situation in Ukraine?

Russia promises to respond to the official steps taken by Sweden and Finland to join NATO. However, Moscow does not intend to do this immediately, but after assessing the threats that have arisen as a result of almost doubling its borders with the alliance

When Finland and Sweden join NATO

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced at a press conference on Monday, May 16, that the Swedish government had overwhelmingly decided to join NATO. Stockholm will submit the corresponding application together with Helsinki— Finland officially confirmed its intention to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance on Sunday, May 15.

“We are now living in a dangerous time. Russia will not like the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO. Both Sweden and Finland must be prepared for difficult months, we say this not to create anxiety, but to draw attention. No one can rule out that trials are coming, even if they are not serious, — said Andersson.

Politico estimates that for the two countries, the process of joining NATO from application to approval could take only a few weeks, given the upcoming summit of the alliance, which will be held in late June in Madrid. As the publication explains, unlike the Baltic countries, which took years to begin to comply with NATO requirements and overcome the prejudice of a number of members of the alliance, the alliance has long had a consensus on Finland and Sweden. The fact is that both countries have a reputation as democracies in which the rule of law is respected, and the level of their military and military-technical training will help strengthen the bloc of 30 countries. Finland and Sweden's long-term cooperation with the alliance also means that they will not have to make great efforts to achieve the compatibility of their weapons forces with NATO forces.

For Finland and Sweden, joining NATO will mean that the fifth article of the Collective Defense Treaty will come into force in their respect. It states that if one state— a member of NATO is the victim of an armed attack, all other members of the alliance will take action as they deem necessary to help the country under attack.

For Russia, this means that the length of its border with NATO will more than double, mainly due to Finland— the length of the border with it is 1300 km.

RBC Pro Pro Without these IT services, businesses will have a particularly difficult time. Instructions Pro The risk of an eternal bear market is real. In which stocks to sit out the fall?On Monday evening, May 16, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would not agree to Finland and Sweden joining NATO. “We can't say yes” the accession to NATO of those who imposed sanctions against Turkey,— quoted Erdogan Anadolu. The Turkish leader stressed that the arrival of delegations from Finland and Sweden to discuss their membership would not change Ankara's position. A week earlier, he stated that Ankara does not consider the possibility of the two countries joining NATO as a positive, arguing that they serve as a “guest house for terrorist organizations”, referring to the Kurdistan Workers' Party banned in Turkey.

< p>How Moscow's rhetoric has changed

In mid-April, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev wrote in his Telegram channel that in the event of NATO expansion at the expense of Sweden and Finland, “there would no longer be any talk of a nuclear-free status of the Baltic States,” and predicted a serious increase in the grouping of ground forces and air defense Russia, the deployment of significant naval forces in the waters of the Gulf of Finland. He also claimed that “Russia will have more officially registered opponents.”

On May 12, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Finland's entry into NATO “unconditionally” is a threat to Russia. “The next expansion of NATO does not make our continent more stable and secure”, — he added. On the same day, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Finland's accession to NATO “would cause serious damage to bilateral Russian-Finnish relations, maintaining stability and security in the Northern European region.” “Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop the threats to its national security arising in this regard,” — stated in the statement.

However, on May 14, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said that “it is too early to say” on the deployment of nuclear weapons by Russia in the Baltic region in the event that Sweden and Finland join NATO. On the same day, a telephone conversation took place between Russian and Finnish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Sauli Niinistö. According to a report on the Kremlin website, Putin told Niinistö that Finland's decision to join NATO was wrong. The office of the Finnish president, in turn, indicated that Niinistö told Putin that Helsinki changed its position on joining the alliance after Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine.

At the same time, Putin, speaking at the CSTO summit on Monday, said that the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO does not pose a military threat to Russia. “As for expansion, including through new members of the alliance— Finland, Sweden: Russia, I would like to inform you, dear colleagues, has no problems with these states, and therefore, in this sense, expansion at the expense of these countries does not pose an immediate threat to Russia, but the expansion of military infrastructure into this territory will certainly provoke our response reaction. And what it will be, we will look, based on the threats that will be created for us, — he explained.

Can Moscow respond to the decision of Helsinki and Stockholm

The Washington Post indicates that the change in Russian rhetoric may be due to the fact that Moscow does not currently have the resources to respond to the actions of Helsinki and Stockholm. “Russia withdrew troops from the border with Finland to redirect them to Ukraine, as a result of which Moscow's ability to threaten Finland militarily was significantly reduced,” — publication approves. It also notes that Russia supplies Finland with a small amount of gas and oil, electricity (no more than 10% of needs), which allows Helsinki to pursue an independent foreign policy.

The Washington Post does not exclude the possibility of cyber attacks and the start of a hybrid war by Russia to change public opinion in Finland, but notes that Helsinki has enough resources to counter such actions. The newspaper also quotes a military expert, retired Finnish Major General Pekka Toveri, as saying that Russia “has no political, military or economic power”; over Finland.

The Politico publication even called it “bragging”; Russia's threats to deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic Sea region, indicating that they are already deployed in Kaliningrad (Moscow has never officially confirmed the deployment of such weapons), and that Russia has already deployed a nuclear deterrence force on the Kola Peninsula.

Program Director of the Valdai Club Ivan Timofeev, in a conversation with RBC, did not agree with the thesis about the change in Moscow's rhetoric and the lack of resources for retaliatory measures in connection with the upcoming entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO. “I would not say that Moscow's rhetoric has become more peaceful. The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is perceived in Moscow as a threat to national security. True, Moscow cannot stop the drift of these countries into NATO. It is inevitable against the backdrop of events in Ukraine. Another thing is that it is unlikely that any serious military escalation in the Baltic region will follow now in connection with the entry of these countries into NATO, on the one hand, and the concentration of forces in Ukraine, on the other. But in the long term, of course, this creates big problems for Russian security. I think that in Moscow they understand this very well,»,— said Timofeev.

How NATO expansion will affect the European security system

Stefan Wolf, professor of international security at the University of Birmingham, in an article for The Conversation, points out that Putin's attempt to fundamentally restructure the European security order and relations with the United States and NATO through the launch of a special military operation in Ukraine has backfired and, in particular, led to the expansion alliance. In his opinion, the refusal of Helsinki and Stockholm from the policy of non-alignment indicates that “neutrality as a status in international law and foreign policy position is no longer seen as a viable way for small countries to be outside the zone of great power rivalry.”

At the same time, changes in the European security structure will not be limited to NATO expansion, Wolf predicts. As an example, he cites the decision of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to apply for EU membership. Wolf believes that such decisions may take years to implement, but they will lead to a more serious split between East and West. In such circumstances, small states will have to choose sides. So, the expert recalls, Switzerland has already moved away from its neutrality in the issue of imposing sanctions and has synchronized its anti-Russian restrictions with similar EU measures. Iceland is following the same path

The deepening of the split in Europe and the rejection of neutrality as an effective approach to national security will also have an impact on the outcome of Russia's military operation in Ukraine. In particular, a neutral status for Ukraine, the possibility of which Moscow and Kyiv previously discussed during negotiations, will become an unviable idea against the background of Helsinki and Stockholm's refusal to do so in conditions when they were not attacked. “If neutrality is not discussed, then the space for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine is further reduced, and the likelihood that both sides will seek victory on the battlefield increases,” — Wolf sums it up.

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Secretary General urged to take into account Turkey’s concerns about Finland and Sweden in NATO

Jens Stoltenberg believes that countries should be together “at this historic moment” and that it will be possible to reach a consensus. Finland and Sweden decided to apply to NATO. Ankara refused to support the membership of these countries

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged to take into account Turkey's concerns about the membership of Finland and Sweden in the alliance. He tweeted about this.

“I spoke with [Turkish] Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu about the decision of our closest partners Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership. Turkey is a valuable ally and any security issues must be resolved. We must be together at this historic moment,»— noted Stoltenberg.

On May 15, at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock following an informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers, the Secretary General expressed confidence that the bloc would be able to find common ground with Ankara and reach a consensus.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to support the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO, since these countries, according to Ankara, condone terrorist organizations and imposed sanctions against the republic. As the Turkish TV channel TRT Haber reported, the northern European states did not extradite 33 members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the Hizmet movement to Turkey. (FETO) recognized as terrorist in the country.

Finland and Sweden decided to apply for membership in NATO. Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö, called “abandoning the traditional policy of military neutrality” erroneous, since “there are no threats to the security of Finland.” Later, at the CSTO summit, he said that Russia “has no problems with these states,” so their membership in the alliance does not pose an immediate threat to Russia. However, Moscow will react “appropriately” in the event of the expansion of NATO's military infrastructure on the territory of these countries, Putin warned. “And what it [the reaction] will be, we will look at based on the threats that will be created for us. That is, in fact, problems are created from scratch, & mdash; he said.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto explained the reasons that prompted Helsinki to change its non-alignment policy with military actions in Ukraine.

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The Kremlin saw a reason for analysis in the situation with Sweden, Finland and NATO

Dmitry Peskov: Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO is a reason for a very deep analysis According to Peskov, Moscow will analyze the current events, but is already convinced that NATO expansion will not strengthen Europe's security https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/8/58/756526957084588.jpg” alt=”The Kremlin saw a reason for analysis in the situation with Sweden, Finland and NATO” />

Dmitry Peskov < p>Moscow will monitor the situation with joining the North Atlantic Alliance, said the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov in response to a question about how Vladimir Putin reacted to this decision of the Scandinavian countries.

“We will be watching very closely what will happen, we are carefully recording all statements,” — Peskov said (quote from Interfax).

Peskov called the situation “a reason for a very deep analysis of possible consequences,” and also noted Moscow's conviction that the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO is not will improve the architecture of security on our continent.

At the same time, as the Kremlin representative pointed out, Russia has no territorial disputes with Finland and Sweden, while in the case of Ukraine, if it joined NATO, “Russia would have a territorial dispute with a state that participates in the alliance,” pointed out Peskov.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the decision of Sweden and Finland to join NATO “a grave mistake with far-reaching consequences.” The department indicated that Russia will decide how to ensure its security, based on the practical consequences of the entry of the two countries into the alliance.

Stockholm and Helsinki, which previously adhered to a policy of military neutrality, officially announced their intention to become members of NATO on 15 May. In Sweden, this decision was explained by the fact that the country does not want Russia's actions following Ukraine to be directed against Sweden. It is going to become a NATO member with a clause not to deploy nuclear weapons and permanent bases on its territory.

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Finland indicated that the country will apply to join the alliance after consultations with parliament on May 16. The terms of entry were not specified. Before that, the Finnish authorities indicated that the country would become a member of the alliance, “so that there would never be a new war in Finland.”

Putin said that he considered Finland's entry into NATO a mistake, since there were no threats to the country's security.< /p>

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised that the process of accepting new members will be accelerated, and the security of the two states will be ensured during this transitional period. German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock also stressed that Sweden and Finland “will be able to join quickly”, and the NATO countries “should give them security guarantees”.

There are disagreements about joining the alliance both within these two countries as well as in NATO. Two Swedish parties, as well as Turkey and Croatia, opposed it.

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Peskov called the differences between Ukraine and Sweden with Finland in NATO

Russia has no territorial disputes with Finland and Sweden. If Ukraine became a member of NATO, then Moscow would have a territorial dispute, which carries huge, huge risks for the entire continent, Peskov explained

Dmitry Peskov

Possible entry of Ukraine into NATO could lead to territorial dispute between Russia and a state that is part of the alliance. Russia has no territorial disputes with Sweden and Finland. This was stated by the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, TASS reports.

“We have no territorial disputes with either Finland or Sweden. While Ukraine could potentially become a NATO member, and then Russia would have a territorial dispute with a state that participates in the alliance, which carries huge, huge risks for the entire continent, — Peskov explained.

The Kremlin believes that the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will not strengthen the security architecture in Europe. At the same time, Peskov noted that the entry of the Scandinavian countries into the alliance— this is a very serious matter and Russia will be watching closely what the implications for its security will be.

Sweden and Finland officially announced on 15 May that they were going to apply to join NATO. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Sweden's neutrality “has served her well” but that such a policy would not be useful going forward as Stockholm fears threats from Moscow. The ruling Social Democratic Party of Sweden indicated that the application to the alliance would be submitted with the proviso “against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory.”

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced at a joint press conference that the country would apply for NATO membership “after consulting parliament” on 16 May.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the process of accepting Sweden and Finland into the bloc will be accelerated, but it will still take some time. During this period, the alliance will consider ways to ensure the security of both countries.

In June 2020, Ukraine became a member of the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partnership. The status gave the country wider access to the programs and exercises of the North Atlantic Alliance, however, its award does not mean any decisions on the issue of NATO membership.

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Putin said that the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO does not pose a threat

At the same time, the President stressed that the expansion of military infrastructure in the Scandinavian countries “will certainly cause our response”

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Russia has no problems with Finland and Sweden, their entry into NATO does not pose an immediate threat, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the CSTO summit. But the expansion of military infrastructure in these territories “will cause a backlash,” the president continued. RBC is broadcasting the summit.

“As for the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance: yes, this is a problem that is created, in my opinion, completely artificially in the foreign policy interests of the United States. <…> Russia has no problems with these states [with Sweden and Finland], and therefore, in this sense, [NATO] expansion at the expense of these countries does not pose an immediate threat <…> But the expansion of military infrastructure in the territory of this region will certainly cause our response,— Putin said.

At the same time, the president stressed that the actions of the Scandinavian states could aggravate “an already difficult situation in the field of international security.”

Stockholm and Helsinki, which previously adhered to a policy of military neutrality, officially announced their intention to become members of NATO on 15 May. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that Sweden's neutrality “has served her well”, but this policy will not be useful in the future, as Stockholm fears threats from Moscow.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and the Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced at a joint press conference that the country will apply for NATO membership “after consultation with Parliament”, which will take place on May 16.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the process of admitting Sweden and Finland to the bloc will be accelerated, but it will still take some time. During this period, he said, the alliance will consider ways to ensure the security of both countries.

At the same time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said that the Scandinavian countries are “a guest house for terrorist organizations.” He explained that members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, banned in Turkey, live in Sweden, the Netherlands and even participate in parliament. “We can't look at it positively,” — he noted.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the decision of Sweden and Finland to join NATO “a grave mistake with far-reaching consequences.” The department indicated that Russia will decide how to ensure its security, based on the practical consequences of the entry of the two countries into the alliance. Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said on May 12 that Sweden and Finland, who want to join NATO, could become Russia's target if alliance troops appear on the territory of these countries. “They know that as soon as they become members of NATO, this will require certain mirror steps from the Russian side,” — he said, calling NATO “an unfriendly bloc”; and the “enemy”.

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CSTO leaders declared their readiness to establish cooperation with NATO

At the same time, the CSTO leaders stressed that they were concerned about the situation at the external borders and expressed their readiness to ensure the security of the borders

During the meeting of the leaders of the CSTO member states in Moscow

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is ready to establish practical cooperation with NATO to “reduce tensions on the continent,” the CSTO leaders said in a joint statement following the summit.

“Realizing our responsibility for ensuring lasting peace in the Eurasian region, we emphasize the importance of reducing tensions on the continent and confirm our readiness to establish practical interaction with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, — says the statement.

At the same time, the CSTO leaders expressed concern about the situation in Afghanistan and on other external borders of the states— members of the CSTO and noted that they are ready to ensure the security of the borders of the organization's zone of responsibility.

In addition, the CSTO condemned “any attempt to falsify historical events related to the common contribution to counteracting Nazi aggression.” The leaders agreed to continue counteracting any attempts to glorify Nazism and spread neo-Nazism, as well as racism and xenophobia.

The summit of the leaders of the CSTO countries, timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty and the 20th anniversary of the organization, was held on May 16 in Moscow . The summit was attended by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Presidents of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Relationships Moscow and the North Atlantic Alliance deteriorated even before the start of the Russian operation in Ukraine. In October last year, Russia suspended the work of the permanent mission to NATO and the activities of the military liaison mission and the bloc's information bureau in Moscow in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the alliance. After that, a series of negotiations on security guarantees for Moscow took place, which were unsuccessful.

On February 24, during the announcement of the start of a special operation in Ukraine, the Russian president stressed that NATO's eastward expansion was of “special concern and alarm.” In his opinion, the alliance has become “an instrument of foreign policy”; Washington. In mid-March, the Foreign Ministry announced that relations between Russia and NATO had reached the “zero mark”, accusing the bloc of suspending military and civil cooperation with the Russian side since 2014 and ignoring Moscow's security concerns.

Against the backdrop of the military operation in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have officially announced their intention to join NATO. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that Sweden's neutrality “has served her well”, but this policy will not be useful in the future, as Stockholm fears threats from Moscow.

In Moscow, the decision of Sweden and Finland to join NATO has been called “a grave mistake with far-reaching consequences.” Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said on May 12 that Sweden and Finland, who want to join NATO, could become Russia's target if alliance troops appear on the territory of these countries. “They know that as soon as they become members of NATO, this will require certain mirror steps from the Russian side,” — he said, calling NATO “an unfriendly bloc”; and the “enemy”.

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Swedish government announces decision to apply for NATO membership

Sweden's intention to apply for NATO membership was announced yesterday by the ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP). According to the country's prime minister, the government's decision is “a sign of strength in a difficult time for Sweden”

Magdalena Andersson

Sweden will soon apply for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance, the government has decided to do so. This was stated by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, reports Gotenbug-posten.

“The overwhelming majority in the Swedish Riksdag [unicameral parliament] was in favor of Sweden joining NATO”,— she said.

She says the decision is “a sign of strength at a difficult time for Sweden.”

On May 15, the ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP) announced the decision to apply for Sweden's accession to NATO. “The party will work to get Sweden to apply for NATO membership. Thus, the Social Democrats will seek to ensure that Sweden, in the event that the NATO application is approved, expresses unilateral reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory, — stated in the statement.

On the same day, Magdalena Andersson explained that the country's neutrality “served well”, but in the future such a policy would not be useful, SVT reports. She added that she did not want Russia's actions following Ukraine to be directed against Sweden.

The Finnish government also made the decision to join NATO earlier. As President Sauli Niinistö noted, the decision was also made because of Russia's actions in Ukraine.

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The United States and most of the EU countries supported Finland and Sweden's aspirations to join NATO, while Croatia and Turkey opposed it. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that the Scandinavian countries are “a guest house for terrorist organizations.” He explained that members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, banned in Turkey, live in Sweden, the Netherlands, and are even the first to be represented in parliament.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the CSTO summit on May 16, said that the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO does not pose an immediate threat to Russia, but the expansion of military infrastructure in the territory of the Scandinavian countries “will certainly cause our response.” The Foreign Ministry previously warned that Moscow would be forced to take military-technical measures if the Scandinavian countries joined the alliance.

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The President of Finland called cold-blooded conversation with Putin about NATO

Finnish President Niinistö: conversation with Putin was calm and cool Putin was “surprisingly calm” about the conversation with Niinistö about Finland's prospects in NATO, the president said. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would take steps of a “military-technical nature” jpg” alt=”President of Finland called cold-blooded conversation with Putin about NATO” />

Sauli Niinistö and Vladimir Putin

During a conversation with the Russian President about the prospect of Finland joining NATO, Vladimir Putin “did not repeat the threats from his subordinates”, the conversation took place in a calm manner, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said in an interview with CNN.

“In general the discussion was very calm and cool <…> it was surprising that he took it calmly, & mdash; appreciated the President of Finland.

Ninisto added that one should be careful and careful, despite any statements by the Russian authorities.

The President of Finland explained that he called his Russian colleague for a frank conversation about what is happening, since the country does not intend to “quietly disappear around the corner.” He announced this earlier on May 15 during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin, MTV Uutiset reported. He said that he was worried about possible “military-technical measures” countermeasures, which were mentioned in the warnings of Moscow.

The President of Finland gave several possible explanations why this time the reaction of the Russian side was more restrained than before. First, he said, Moscow was following the cooperation between Helsinki and NATO and could understand that the parties were already cooperating as closely as possible for the country— partner of the alliance, or Moscow wants to avoid public discussion of this topic. Finally, Niinistö continued, the Russian authorities may indeed take a more relaxed view on the matter.

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Marin added that “everything has changed”; and now in Helsinki they see “a completely different Russia” than before the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. Finland cannot count on Russia to pursue a peaceful policy, she said. “Finland's decision to join NATO was made so that there would never be a new war in Finland,” — emphasized Marin.

The conversation between the Finnish and Russian presidents took place on Saturday, May 14. Putin considered the decision of the country's authorities a mistake, recalling that the country had previously adhered to neutrality. He also assured that Russia does not pose a threat. “Such a change in the country's foreign policy may have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations,” — suggested the Russian president. At the same time, its representative Dmitry Peskov called the prospect of Finland joining NATO an unconditional threat to Russia.

The Foreign Ministry warned that in such a scenario, Moscow “would be forced to take retaliatory steps, both military-technical and other in nature, in in order to stop the threats to its national security arising in this regard. Dmitry Polyansky, Russia's Deputy Chairman to the UN, said that with the deployment of NATO units in Sweden and Finland, their territories could become possible targets for strikes.

Against this background, Finland agreed with the UK to provide mutual assistance in the event of an attack. This assistance may include military means, the declaration of the parties said. The Finnish government emphasized that they were not afraid of the likely consequences. “It's our choice, we shouldn't limit ourselves to wiggle room because of threats,” — said the country's Minister for European Affairs and Property Management Tyutti Tuppurainen.

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Sweden followed Finland in joining NATO

If approved, Stockholm intends to achieve non-deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases of the alliance in the country, the ruling party of Sweden said. The leaders of other parties approved the submission of an application to NATO Finland decided to join NATO” />

Sweden has officially decided to apply to join NATO, the ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP) said in a statement.

&laquo The party will work to get Sweden to apply for NATO membership. Thus, the Social Democrats will seek to ensure that Sweden, in the event that the NATO application is approved, expresses unilateral reservations against the deployment of nuclear weapons and permanent bases on Swedish territory, — said in the message.

The Prime Minister of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson, explained at a press conference that the country's neutrality had previously served well, but in the future such a policy would not be useful, SVT reports. She added that she did not want Russia's actions following Ukraine to be directed against Sweden.

“If Sweden became the only non-NATO country in the Baltic Sea region, we would be in a vulnerable position,” — she stressed, expressing her hope that the application will be submitted as soon as possible.

Aftonbladet, citing a source, said that the Swedish authorities have already prepared the application, but Stockholm intends to send it at the same time together with the Finnish side. According to Aftonbladet, the government will make a formal decision at an extraordinary meeting on Monday, May 16, after a debate in parliament.

The Social Democrats have more seats in the Swedish parliament than other political forces (100 out of 349) and formed a minority government, all cabinet ministers are members of the Social Democratic Party.

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A number of leaders of other factions in the Swedish Parliament approved the position of the Social Democratic Party. Chapter of the Moderates Ulf Kristersson stated that “with pleasure” learned of this news, his faction is the second largest in the Swedish Parliament.

The head of the Christian Democrats Ebba Bush called the decision wise, “though much overdue.” “We Christian Democrats have long been in favor of NATO membership,” — Bush wrote on Twitter.

Sweden's Liberal Party noted on Twitter that security these days is built within alliances, not outside of them, with Stockholm's security dependent on neighboring countries. “Sweden cannot isolate itself from the outside world. So it's good that Sweden is also joining the broad parliamentary majority to do what Finland does,” — party statement says.

A similar decision was made by the Government of Finland on the same day, 15 May. Helsinki will submit a formal application after consultations in parliament, the Finnish Foreign Ministry said that this will happen on May 18. The decision of the Finnish authorities was prompted by Russia's actions in Ukraine, Minister Pekka Haavisto explained. “Unpredictable behavior of Russia” this is an inevitable problem. Russia is ready to carry out very risky operations for itself.».— he said in early May.

Western countries have announced their intention to approve applications from Finland and Sweden. The Alliance will explore ways to ensure the security of these countries before they are accepted into its membership, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced. He clarified that one of the options is to increase the military presence in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the “potential threats arising in this regard” against the backdrop of discussions about the prospects for Scandinavian countries to join NATO. with the National Security Council. He called Finland's decision to become a member of the alliance a mistake. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that Moscow would be forced to take military-technical measures.

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The United States announced the reflection of the deterrence of “aggression” of Russia in the NATO concept

The US Secretary of State warned that NATO's updated strategic concept would reflect a policy of deterring “any aggression” from Russia. Bloomberg wrote that the alliance could call Moscow's actions a direct threat in the document

Anthony Blinken

The new strategic concept of NATO will fully reflect the deterrence of any manifestation of “aggression”; Russia, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said during a press conference in Berlin following the meeting of the foreign ministers of the alliance countries. The broadcast was conducted on YouTube.

“The basis of NATO, the basis of the strategic concept is the concept of defense and deterrence. This led to the formation of the alliance. And this includes, among other things, the containment of any aggression on the part of Russia,»,— said Blinken.

Strategic Concept— NATO's flagship document, last updated in November 2010.

“It will identify the security challenges facing the Alliance and outline the political and military tasks that NATO will undertake to address them.” ,— stated on the website of the alliance.

NATO also indicates that over the past ten years, “the world has changed radically”, strategic competition has grown.

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According to Bloomberg, NATO may designate Moscow's actions as a direct threat if Russian foreign policy does not change. The countries of the alliance also touch upon the topic of providing assistance to those states that have been subjected to aggression, the interlocutors of the agency said.

“The new NATO strategic concept will become the basis for an era of strategic rivalry,” announced the secretary general of the organization Jens Stoltenberg on May 15.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during the announcement of the start of a special operation in Ukraine, said that the expansion of NATO to the east causes “special concern and alarm”. In his opinion, the alliance has become “an instrument of foreign policy”; Washington. In mid-March, the Foreign Ministry announced that relations between Russia and NATO had reached a “zero mark”, accusing the bloc of suspending military and civilian cooperation with the Russian side since 2014 and ignoring Moscow's security concerns.

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Sweden says NATO membership is not directed against Russia

Sweden, following Finland, announced that it intends to join NATO. The Cabinet of Ministers of the country stated that this decision is the best for the security of Sweden, it is not directed against Russia

Magdalena Andersson

Swedish's decision to apply for NATO membership was made in order to secure the country, told Aftonbladet newspaper head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry Ann Linde.

“This decision is not directed against Russia”,— she emphasized.

Her point of view was supported by the Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson: “We, the Social Democrats, believe that the best thing for the country's security would be joining NATO.” “If Sweden becomes the only non-NATO country in the Baltic Sea region, we will be in a vulnerable position,” — quotes her SVT.

According to Andersson, Sweden should apply to join NATO along with Finland, and this must be done “as soon as possible.” Countries need to get security guarantees from bloc members, the politician added.

Andersson said the world's security situation has changed since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine; she did not rule out that “similar aggression could be directed against Sweden.”

The ruling Social Democratic Party (S/SAP) announced its official decision to join NATO on the evening of 15 May. According to Aftonbladet, the Swedish authorities have already prepared a corresponding application, in Stockholm they intend to send it along with the Finnish side.

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Finland announced similar plans on the same day. As Helsinki said, the country will submit an application to NATO after consultations in Parliament, which will be held on Monday, May 16.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Security Council, where they discussed possible risks in connection with the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO; He considered Helsinki's decision to join the bloc erroneous. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Moscow views such a scenario as a threat, and Russia's actions will depend on how the “expansion process” will be expressed; and how the alliance's military infrastructure will move.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised in early April that if Helsinki and Stockholm want to join the alliance, they will promptly receive a positive response. The desire of Finland and Sweden to join NATO was supported by the United States, while Turkey did not see this as a positive. According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Scandinavian countries are “a guest house for terrorists” (he is referring to the PKK, banned in Turkey). At the same time, Ankara stated that they support the principle of “open doors”; in NATO.

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Finland plans to apply for NATO membership on May 18

The Permanent Representative of Finland to NATO in Brussels is likely to apply to join the alliance on Wednesday 18 May. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told the Aftonbladet newspaper about this.

“For our part, this [application] will be done by the NATO ambassador in Brussels physically, probably on Wednesday. Then, if negotiations with NATO begin, they will be dealt with by a delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence. said Haavisto.

Earlier, Finland's intention to apply for NATO membership “in the coming days” said President Sauli Niinistö during a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

On May 12, Niinistö and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin stressed in a joint statement the need to apply for NATO membership. Haavisto explained this decision by the fact that “the hostilities launched by Russia created a danger to the stability of the whole of Europe.” Similar plans are being considered by Sweden, which, like Finland, has the status of a state— NATO partner.

The next day, Putin held a meeting of the Security Council, where they discussed possible risks in connection with the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that Moscow views such a scenario as a threat and Russia's actions will depend on how the “expansion process” is expressed. and how the military infrastructure of the alliance will move.

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German Foreign Minister urged to quickly accept Sweden and Finland into NATO

Annalena Burbock emphasized that there should be no “grey zone” between countries applying for NATO membership and their acceptance, the allies should ensure their security after the initiative of Helsinki and Stockholm

Annalena Burbock

Germany will do everything to speed up the process of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock told reporters ahead of a meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers in Berlin, Reuters reports. She emphasized that the period between countries submitting applications and their inclusion in NATO should be minimal.

“If they decide to join, they can join quickly <…>. We must give them security guarantees, there should be no transitional period, no gray area, when their status would be indeterminate,— underlined Burbock.

The process of ratifying countries' applications to join the alliance could take up to a year, Reuters explains. During this time, candidates are not covered by the article of the North Atlantic Treaty on collective defense, according to which an armed attack on any of the participating states is regarded as an attack on the entire alliance.

On the need for security guarantees from allies for the period between The Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist previously spoke about the application and its ratification.

Helsinki and Stockholm have started talking about possible NATO membership amid the escalation in Ukraine. Finnish President and Prime Minister Sauli Niinistö and Sanna Marin on May 12 announced the need to immediately apply for the country's accession to NATO. Edition Helsingin Sanomat wrote that Finland and Sweden plan to apply at the same time. Niinistö is scheduled to visit Sweden on May 17.

The Finnish President spoke about his intention to make a decision in the near future to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation on May 14. Niinistö explained that in this way his country “strengthens its own security.” Finland's desire to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance was influenced by “Russia's massive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022,” the head of state noted. Putin called Finland's refusal of neutrality a mistake. The country's minister for European affairs and property management, Tytti Tuppurainen, said that Helsinki is not afraid of threats and is ready for Moscow's response.

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