NATO: Sweden and Finland very close to joining alliance, Blinken says

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By Euronews
Blinken speaking at a joint press conference with his Swedish and Finnish Counterparts in Washington, DC.
Blinken speaking at a joint press conference with his Swedish and Finnish Counterparts in Washington, DC.   -   Copyright  Cliff Owen/Copyright 2022 the AP. All Rights Reserved

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has said he’s confident that NATO candidates Sweden and Finland will become members very soon. Blinken was speaking at a joint press conference with his Swedish and Finnish Counterparts in Washington DC. 

The US Secretary of State thinks perspective is important when new members join the alliance, despite a couple of countries still opposing the accession of the two Nordic countries: 

"All 30 allies signed the accession protocol, 28 of the 30, of course, have ratified them. And we are working toward the additional ratifications. Turkey and Hungary. And I am convinced, based on everything I know, that we will soon be able to call both countries formally are our allies."

Turkey argues that NATO hopefuls have been too lax in ignoring threats to Turkey from Kurdish militants and other groups that it considers terrorist.

But both Finland and Sweden say they have been fulfilling Turkey's demands. Sweden last week extradited Mahmut Tat, who is wanted by Ankara for membership in the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Both European countries rethought and abandoned their traditional military non-alignment shortly after neighbouring Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

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