Should Finland and Sweden decide to apply to NATO, the accession process would “go quickly” and interim measures would be put in place until they become formal members of the alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.
“We are in dialogue with Finland and Sweden, and it’s their decision. But if they decide to apply, Finland and Sweden will be warmly welcomed, and I expect the process to go quickly,” he told the press.
“This is fundamentally about the right of every nation in Europe to decide its own future. So when Russia tries in a way to threaten, to intimidate Finland and Sweden from not applying it just demonstrates how Russia is not respecting the basic right of every nation to choose its own path,” Stoltenberg added.
“The reality is that Finland and Sweden are already very close to NATO and we work together, we operate together, we exercise together. And as soon as we take the decision to invite them, that will send a strong political message, that the security of Finland and Sweden matters for all NATO allies,” he continued.