Nato chief: Vilnius Summit has made history on Sweden, will take key decisions on Ukraine

Speaking at the start of a two-day Nato Summit in Vilnius on July 11, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s agreement to forward the accession protocol for Sweden to the Grand National Assembly as soon as possible, calling this an historic decision which is “good for Sweden, good for Türkiye, and good for the whole Alliance.”

When the agreement was announced on July 10, Stoltenberg said: “The memorandum concluded a year ago at the Madrid summit has delivered.

“It has delivered more in our fight against terrorism, more security for Türkiye, and a stronger Nato,” he said.

Stoltenberg said that Sweden and Türkiye had worked closely together since Nato’s 2022 Summit in Madrid to address Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns, and that as part of that process, Sweden has amended its constitution, changed its laws, significantly expanded its counter-terrorism cooperation against the PKK, and resumed arms exports to Türkiye.

“Sweden’s cooperation with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism will continue beyond accession,” he said, welcoming that Sweden and Türkiye agreed today to establish a new bilateral Security Compact.

“Nato will also significantly step up its work in this area, and I will establish, for the first time at Nato, the post of Special CoordiNator for Counter-Terrorism,” Stoltenberg said.

“Completing Sweden’s accession to Nato is an historic step that benefits the security of all Nato Allies at this critical time. It makes us all stronger and safer,” he said.

In his remarks on July 11, Stoltenberg said that at the summit, Allies would also send a clear message that “we stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes,” and upgrade political ties with Kyiv – including at the inaugural meeting of the Nato-Ukraine Council with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Stoltenberg said that Allies would take decisions to reinforce deterrence and defence, and agree a more ambitious defence investment pledge.

He also welcomed that Allies will be joined by the leaders of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, underscoring that security is not regional, but global.

(Photo: Nato)

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