Helsinki: Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that delay in the ratification of her country and Sweden’s NATO membership bid harms the alliance’s credibility.
“We (Finland and Sweden) would have hoped to become members of NATO already,” Marin said during a joint press conference with visiting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“Finland and Sweden fulfil all the criteria as it has been mentioned, and we are yet waiting. Of course, this strains the open-door policy of NATO; it’s also to do with NATO’s credibility,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
Finland and Sweden jointly submitted their NATO membership bids in May last year.
So far, 28 of NATO’s 30 current members have ratified the applications.
Turkey and Hungary are yet to formally endorse the two countries’ accession.
On his part, Stoltenberg reiterated that Finland and Sweden’s rapid admission is now the alliance’s number one priority.
He said that representatives of Turkey, Finland and Sweden are scheduled to meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels next week.
However, this does not guarantee a breakthrough and the final decision rests with Turkey and Hungary, said the NATO chief.
Stoltenberg was in Helsinki to attend the annual meeting of SAMAK, the co-operation committee of the Nordic Social Democratic parties.
Leave a Reply