TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Germany will support Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to the NATO military alliance, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz, after the two Nordic states expressed interest in joining despite decades of neutrality.
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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, adding, “Even during the period before such NATO membership is decided, they can “Always trust Germany’s support. As Europeans, we feel obliged to do so anyway,” RT reported.
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.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson spoke to journalists after Scholz on Tuesday and said that no decision has 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 similarly called Russia’s military operation 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 are now giving large-scale support (to Ukraine), which we will continue to do.”