Czech Republic supports Finland and Sweden joining NATO
The Czech Republic fully supports the entry of Finland and Sweden into the North Atlantic Alliance, said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky.
“We warmly welcome Finland and Sweden, and support their interest in joining [NATO], we believe them with their friends», — he said.
At the same time, the diplomat recalled that time is needed to expand the alliance through the two Scandinavian countries. “We still need to reach a political agreement. As soon as we have it, the question of ratification in the national parliaments will remain, — indicated by the head of the Czech Foreign Ministry.
On May 12, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued a statement that Helsinki should immediately apply to join NATO. According to the Finnish leader, his decision was influenced by Russia's demand from NATO to abandon the advance to the east and the start of a military operation in Ukraine.
On the same day, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reported on Stockholm's plans to apply for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance in Monday, May 16 the next day, the President of Finland is scheduled to visit Sweden, during which he will hold talks with Andersson.
Today, Sweden and Finland have the status of states— NATO partners. 30 countries are members of the bloc, including Scandinavian Denmark and Norway.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin considered it a mistake for Finland to abandon its traditional policy of neutrality and join NATO, warning that this step could negatively affect on Russian-Finnish relations. He also held a meeting of the Security Council, where they discussed possible risks in connection with the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO.
As stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, Finland and Sweden, having joined NATO, “will become a space of confrontation between the North Atlantic bloc and Russia with all the ensuing consequences. According to her, the alliance has been “processing” Helsinki and Stockholm to influence their politics, “carefully sculpting the image of the enemy from Russia.”