NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg comments that Sweden’s accession is near.
NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commented on Sweden’s accession in an interview with a Swedish newspaper, saying, “I have said that time has come to bring to an end the ratification process for Sweden.”
Both Sweden and Finland’s accession to the military alliance had been hindered by Turkey, which pressed both countries to take strong action against those Turkey considered to be terrorists, such as Kurdish militants and people affiliated with a movement led by U.S. cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government claims is responsible for the 2016 coup attempt.
According to AP, the Swedish government has passed legislation to appease Turkey. It has banned the participation in certain terrorist organizations, though Sweden remains firm that Swedish citizens will not extradited to any country.
Though Stoltenberg said he could not give a “precise date” for the accession, he mentioned that “it has been a rare, unusual, and fast membership process. Normally it takes years.” The Secretary General maintained once more that Sweden will join the alliance, saying, “I am confident that Sweden will become a member of NATO.”