Nato Foreign Ministers discuss Sweden, Finland membership application, reaffirm Ukraine support

Nato Foreign Ministers met in Berlin on May 15 to discuss the possible membership application of Finland and Sweden as well as to reaffirm Nato’s support for Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion, the Alliance said in a statement.

Addressing media via video link alongside German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Sweden and Finland are Nato’s closest partners and if they decide to apply for membership, it would be “historic”.

“Their membership in Nato would increase our shared security, demonstrate that Nato’s door is open and that aggression does not pay,” Stoltenberg said, reiterating that all sovereign nations have the right to choose their own path.

A statement on the website of the government of Finland said that on May 15, President Sauli Niinistö and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy finalised a report on Finland’s accession to Nato. The report will be submitted to Parliament once it has been endorsed in the government plenary session.

In the meeting, the President and the Ministerial Committee agreed that Finland would apply for membership of Nato after Parliament has been heard, the Finnish statement said.

Reports on May 15 said that a decision by Sweden on joining Nato was expected soon.

Stoltenberg, wrapping up the two-day ministers’ meeting, said that Allies also discussed support for Ukraine, further strengthening Nato’s deterrence and defence as well as the longer-term implications of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

After Russian forces failed to take Kyiv, they are pulling back from Kharkiv and their Donbass offensive has stalled, Stoltenberg said.

“Russia is not achieving its strategic objectives”, he said.

“President Putin wants Ukraine defeated, Nato down and Europe and North America divided. But Ukraine stands, Nato is stronger than ever. Europe and North America are solidly united.

“Ukraine can win this war,” Stoltenberg said, adding that Allies must continue to hike up their military aid for Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said that the foreign ministers also discussed the upcoming Nato Madrid Summit, which is expected to take decisions on reinforcing the Alliance’s posture, strengthening support for global partners and adopting the Alliance’s next official master strategy its “Strategic Concept”.

(Photo: Nato)

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