Russia’s attack on Ukraine was a? Turning point? for security relations in Europe, said the German Chancellor
Germany will support Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO’s military alliance, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz, after the two Nordic states expressed interest in joining despite decades of neutrality.
After talking to reporters on Tuesday after two days of closed meetings with his Finnish and Swedish counterparts in a city near Berlin, Scholz promised to support both nations’ attempts to join the Western military bloc if they were to submit membership applications.
“For us, it is clear: If these two countries decide to join the NATO alliance, they can count on our support,” he said. saand adds, “Even in the period before such NATO membership is decided, they can always rely on Germany’s support. As Europeans, we feel obliged to do so anyway.”
Scholz’s comments follow reports that Helsinki could explain its intention to join NATO as early as next week, with President Sauli Niinisto reportedly announcing the move on May 12. It is still unclear whether Stockholm will follow suit, even though the country’s parliament recently said it would. make a review of Swedish security policy before a decision is made.
While previous reports indicated that both countries would submit their applications at the same time, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has said that his country could eventually move on without its neighbor.
“Currently, I think the mood in Parliament … includes the possibility of going without Sweden,” FM told Irish Times in an interview last week. “It would be good to do the same things at the same time as Sweden, but it depends on Swedish decisions. It is too early to guess the date, but I think we will move on before the summer.”
Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson spoke to journalists after Scholz on Tuesday and said that a decision has not yet been made and that “All alternatives are on the table”, says Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
“Finland and Sweden are facing important decisions regarding their own security,” Marin said, adding that “Russia’s attack on Ukraine has dramatically changed our security environment, and it can not be undone.”
The German Chancellor in the same way marked Russia’s military operation is a “turning point” for security on the continent, saying the attack prompted Berlin to abolish a long-standing policy against sending weapons to active conflict zones. “It was right and necessary” to change that policy, Scholz continued, adding, “we now provide large-scale support [to Ukraine]which we will continue to do. “