Turkey will let Finland and Sweden into NATO

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkon has expressed confidence that Turkey’s objections to the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO can be quickly resolved, the Associated Press reported.

At a press conference in Washington with visiting Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto Blinkon, he said the United States had no reason to believe that a solution to Turkey’s concerns would not be sought. His remarks came after the Turkish foreign minister said Finland and Sweden would have to take “concrete steps” before Ankara could support their membership. “The United States fully supports the accession of Finland and Sweden to the Alliance, and I continue to believe that both will soon become members of NATO,” Blinkon said. “We look forward to calling Finland and Sweden our allies,” he added.

Haavisto, meanwhile, said his country and Sweden had recently had “good talks” with Turks on their concerns, and that discussions would continue with the intention of resolving the issues before the NATO summit in Madrid in late June. . “We have agreed to continue these negotiations,” Haavisto said. “We believe that these problems that Turkey raises can be resolved. We hope that some results can be achieved before the NATO summit.”

Sweden and Finland formally applied for NATO membership last week. Their accession to the Alliance needs the support of all 30 member states, but Turkey, which has NATO’s second-largest army, has objections. She argues with alleged support for Kurdish fighters considered by Ankara to be terrorists and restrictions on arms sales to Turkey. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that the negotiating delegations of Finland and Sweden had received documents detailing Turkey’s concerns, including information on terrorist groups during a visit to Turkey this week.

US General: NATO’s center of gravity has shifted to the east

The desire of Sweden and Finland to become members of NATO will not require the deployment of additional ground forces on their territory, said yesterday before US senators a US general nominated for the post of European Command, AP reported.

However, Army General Christopher Cavoli pointed out that military exercises and rotations of US troops are likely to increase. Kavoli, who is currently commanding the US military in Europe and Africa, said the increased military focus is likely to continue to focus on Eastern Europe, where countries are more concerned about potential Russian aggression and any expansion of the war in Ukraine.

“The center of gravity of NATO forces has shifted to the east,” Cavoli told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing. “Depending on the outcome of the conflict, we will probably have to continue this for a while,” the general warned.

He was asked about the presence of troops in Europe, which has grown from less than 80,000 to about 102,000 since the Russian invasion began. Cavoli said the increase in troop numbers had nothing to do with Sweden and Finland’s more recent decision to join NATO. Last week, the two Scandinavian countries submitted written applications to join the pact, one of the most significant geopolitical consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Cavoli said the United States already has strong military ties with the two NATO candidate countries.

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