“The question is not whether Sweden will become a NATO member, but when,” stated Billström. “As far as our security is concerned, our situation is better now than when we submitted our application for accession,” he added.
“As we expected, Turkey will accept Finland’s request, but not Sweden’s, and we are prepared for that,” he said. “However, this is a development of the situation that we did not want… our military integration into NATO and our cooperation with Finland will continue,” he added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday in Ankara that Turkey would agree to Finland joining NATO, following a meeting with his Finnish official counterpart, Sauli Niinistö. At the same time, Erdogan indicated that his assessment of Sweden’s NATO accession is negative, since Stockholm has not yet handed over to Ankara the approximately 120 “terrorists” demanded by Turkey.
Billström also spoke about the fact that Sweden has fulfilled all the commitments contained in the Turkish-Swedish-Finnish tripartite memorandum signed in Madrid on June 28 last year. He emphasized: Stockholm is not willing to do anything less than what is included in the agreement.
Cover image: Getty Images
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