Stoltenberg: The Madrid Summit is not a deadline for Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership

NATO’s June summit in Madrid, which will bring together member countries and key partners, will begin on Wednesday. President Sauli Niinistö and the Secretary of State (Greens) are one of those who travel to the top from Finland.

Although Finland’s hopes to celebrate joining NATO in Madrid, along with Sweden, waned when suspended membership talks, NATO Secretary General told the Swedish news agency TT on Monday that the Spanish summit was not the deadline for the two to join the organization.

President Niinistö also said on Monday that Finland’s progress towards NATO membership looks brighter despite Turkey’s demands. The positive assessment came after several discussions between the President of Finland and the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

On the same day, the Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson also revealed that he had had a fruitful conversation with Erdoğan.

Representatives from Finland, Sweden and Turkey met in Brussels on Monday, and Turkish President Erdoğan, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, Swedish Prime Minister Andersson and President Niinistö will hold a new round of talks in Spain on Tuesday before the summit begins.

Earlier in June, the Financial Times reported that had rejected NATO’s initiative to hold trilateral talks with Finland and Sweden on their applications.

prime minister (SDP) said earlier in June that Finland’s membership process is in danger of freezing if a solution to the Turkish opposition is not found before the Madrid meeting. President Sauli Niinistö and Pekka Haavisto (Greens) had also assessed that negotiations between Finland, Sweden and Turkey would not proceed before the Madrid Summit.

Will the meeting confirm Finland’s NATO membership?

"If things had progressed normally without the complications of Turkey, [Finland’s] the application would very likely have been processed so far or at least made progress," Iro SärkkäDoctor of Political Science from the University of , told .

The summit could take a surprising turn when Niinistö and Andersson meet Erdoğan on Tuesday.

"It is not clear if there will be any surprises. The conversation shows that at least they are trying at the last minute," Särkkä said. "Negotiations have progressed, the direction is good, but no breakthrough has been achieved."

"A solution will be found when the United States joins the talks," Särkkä evaluates.

Can Finland leave Sweden to join?

The Turkish authorities have justified blocking Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO membership talks by claiming that they support terrorism. Sweden in particular has been criticized by the Turkish authorities.

By Henrik Meinander, Professor of History at the University of Helsinki, It is still very important for Finland that Sweden also joins NATO. This can best be done if the two countries’ applications are processed together.

The Nordic countries submitted their application to join NATO on 18 May.

Meinander estimates that while the NATO process may take time, both countries seem to have the patience to wait for a diplomatic solution.

Source: The Nordic Page

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