NATO enlargement: the United States and France support the Finnish approach

Green light from Paris and Washington. “We would support a candidacy from Finland and/or Sweden to NATO if they were to submit one. We would respect their choice,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. The President and the Finnish government spoke out on Thursday for rapid membership of the Atlantic Alliance, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Same story, therefore, at the Elysée. France fully supports Finland’s sovereign choice to quickly join NATO, the Presidency of the Republic said on Thursday. This support was expressed in the context of an exchange between French President Emmanuel Macron and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto, said the Elysée.

“Unfriendly measures”. Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general, said Finland, if it were to apply, would be “warmly welcomed” into the Alliance, promising “smooth and smooth” integration. Sweden should quickly follow this example and several sources within NATO expect to see the two Nordic countries ask to join the Alliance in the coming days and quickly obtain the status of member country.

An approach not to Moscow’s taste. Asked about this during a telephone press conference, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Finland had joined the “unfriendly measures” against Russia and that this prospect represented “undeniably” a threat to Russia. The Kremlin’s response “will depend on how this process of NATO expansion goes, on the extent of the rapprochement of our borders with military infrastructure”, he explained.

(with Reuters)

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