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Last minute of the war in Ukraine live | Kyiv condemns missile attack on Lviv’s military infrastructure

Latest NewsLast minute of the war in Ukraine live | Kyiv condemns missile attack on Lviv's military infrastructure

Ministers from Turkey, Finland and Sweden will meet to discuss their differences over NATO membership of the two Nordic countries.with

Elena G. Sevillano (Berlin). “I am confident that we will find a solution,” Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavesto assured this Saturday after arriving for an informal meeting with his NATO counterparts in Berlin. Both Finland and Sweden, which are preparing to apply to join the Atlantic Alliance, are invited to this meeting, convened by German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock, to discuss the conflict in Ukraine with their partners. The meeting comes just a day after Turkey, a NATO member, voiced its objection to the two countries joining, which it accuses of supporting armed organizations such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Both Haavesto and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde confirmed they would meet with Ankara’s representative Mevlut Cavusoglu to resolve “misunderstandings” on the sidelines of the meeting. Turkey has been a member of the Alliance since 1952 and is currently the only partner that has publicly expressed its opposition to expansion with two northern capitals. The accession of new countries requires the unanimity of all members of the organization.

Cavusoglu called “unacceptable and outrageous” what he sees as potential new NATO members’ support for armed organizations such as the PKK. “The problem is that these two countries openly support […] terrorist organizations that attack our troops every day,” the Turkish minister told reporters upon his arrival at the meeting. “The majority of the Turkish people are against the unification of these two countries and are asking us to block it,” he added, confirming that he would meet with the heads of Swedish and Finnish diplomacy this Saturday evening. “These are issues that we obviously need to resolve with our NATO allies and with these countries,” Cavusoglu explained.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who was unable to attend the meeting in Berlin due to a positive coronavirus test result, assured that the organization welcomed the two new additions with open arms. The procedure for joining will be expedited if they finally apply. This week, the governments of Sweden and Finland presented reports favoring EU accession, and they are expected to take official steps in the coming days.

Although the meeting was convened to discuss the conflict in Ukraine, to assess the military situation on the ground and the assistance that the Alliance can provide to the Ukrainian army, this Saturday it is only about Turkey’s refusal to accept the entry of Sweden and Finland. A few days ago, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz supported both candidates. This Saturday, other countries also made it public upon arrival in Berlin. “We are 100% for Finland and Sweden if they decide to apply,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeld said. His Canadian counterpart Melanie Jolie spoke about this at the G-7 meeting just a few hours earlier in northern Germany: “It’s important that we come to a consensus. We not only want your income to happen, but also for it to be fast; This is necessary under the current conditions.”


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