In Berlin, NATO Foreign Ministers are meeting for a two-day informal summit. It is mainly about Finland and Sweden‘s desire to join and Turkey’s objections to it. The ministers of the three countries will speak to each other tonight.
Turkey is against Sweden and Finland joining because these countries are hosting “many terrorist organizations,” President Erdogan said yesterday. He was referring to Kurdish organizations such as PKK and YPG.
Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu reiterated the objections upon arrival in Berlin. “These are terrorist organizations that attack our military every day,” he said. “A large majority of the Turkish people oppose membership of these countries and are asking us to block membership.”
His Finnish colleague Haavesto trusts that a solution will be found. His Swedish counterpart Linde said she will try to eliminate “misunderstandings”.
Sweden and Finland want to join the now thirty-member alliance quickly. Now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, they no longer feel safe.
NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg has already said that the two countries are very welcome. He himself is not there in Berlin due to a corona infection. He had prior telephone contact with the ministers of Sweden, Finland and Turkey.
Sweden and Finland are also very welcome for the Netherlands. Minister Hoekstra told the ANP news agency that, as far as he was concerned, these countries are “ready to join the alliance in every way I can oversee”.
It may take another year for membership in Sweden and Finland to become a reality. Member States will also discuss in Berlin how to ensure the security of these countries in the intervening period.
The meetings also discuss what further support Ukraine needs in the war with Russia. NATO policy will also be discussed in the coming years, including that with regard to Russia.