Annalena Burbock emphasized that there should be no “grey zone” between countries applying for NATO membership and their acceptance, the allies should ensure their security after the initiative of Helsinki and Stockholm
Germany will do everything to speed up the process of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, Foreign Minister Annalena Burbock told reporters ahead of a meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers in Berlin, Reuters reports. She emphasized that the period between countries submitting applications and their inclusion in NATO should be minimal.
“If they decide to join, they can join quickly <…>. We must give them security guarantees, there should be no transitional period, no gray area, when their status would be indeterminate,— underlined Burbock.
The process of ratifying countries' applications to join the alliance could take up to a year, Reuters explains. During this time, candidates are not covered by the article of the North Atlantic Treaty on collective defense, according to which an armed attack on any of the participating states is regarded as an attack on the entire alliance.
On the need for security guarantees from allies for the period between The Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist previously spoke about the application and its ratification.
Helsinki and Stockholm have started talking about possible NATO membership amid the escalation in Ukraine. Finnish President and Prime Minister Sauli Niinistö and Sanna Marin on May 12 announced the need to immediately apply for the country's accession to NATO. Edition Helsingin Sanomat wrote that Finland and Sweden plan to apply at the same time. Niinistö is scheduled to visit Sweden on May 17.
The Finnish President spoke about his intention to make a decision in the near future to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation on May 14. Niinistö explained that in this way his country “strengthens its own security.” Finland's desire to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance was influenced by “Russia's massive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022,” the head of state noted. Putin called Finland's refusal of neutrality a mistake. The country's minister for European affairs and property management, Tytti Tuppurainen, said that Helsinki is not afraid of threats and is ready for Moscow's response.
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