Europe

Finland and Sweden Unlikely to Join NATO After Summit in Madrid, Latvian PM Says

Swedish troops prepare to conduct a perimiter patrol during Exercise Winter Sun in Boden, Sweden on 15th March 2018MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Finland and Sweden are unlikely to complete their NATO accession process during the Madrid summit, as Turkey is yet to approve this move, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said on Friday.

"I am not so certain that NATO will take this decision because Turkey has not yet come to an agreement to allow this to move forward," Karins said before the European Union summit in Brussels.

Latvia supports Finland and Sweden’s decision to join the bloc, the minister noted, adding that “we would hope that the decision could be made.”On 18 May, three months since the onset of the Ukraine crisis, Finland and Sweden submitted their NATO membership applications, abandoning decades of neutrality over a shift in the security situation in Europe.Turkey blocked the consideration of their bids, citing Helsinki and Stockholm’s long-standing support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Ankara deems as a terrorist organization and a serious threat to its national security.NATO summit will be held from 29-30 June in Madrid where the alliance is expected to adopt a new Strategic Concept outlining its core security policies and challenges for the next decade.

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