NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg came Thursday afternoon with a clear message that it is time for Sweden to become a member of NATO.
– Stoltenberg said that any delay in Sweden’s membership would please Putin.
Watch the press conference live in the video window above.
In the press conference, he emphasized that Sweden’s membership would strengthen the alliance militarily. Türkiye has so far put an end to Sweden’s membership, while Hungary is also waiting for Sweden’s approval.
Stoltenberg also warned that Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson will meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, the day before the start of the NATO summit in Vilnius.
Stoltenberg said the two would discuss Sweden’s NATO request.
Sweden is trying to be accepted as a NATO member at the alliance’s summit in Vilnius early next week.
The Stoltenberg press conference comes after a meeting between Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Bilstrom and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan at NATO headquarters with Elena Valtonen of Finland.
Finland applied for NATO membership with Sweden after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. Finland became a member of the coalition in April.
Türkiye made a number of demands to the two applicant countries and wanted to extradite more people. A number of NATO countries, including the United States, are pressing for Sweden’s request to be granted. Meanwhile, the recent burning of the Quran in front of a mosque in Stockholm has drawn harsh criticism from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, NTB writes.
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