News “It’s time for Sweden and Finland to join.” Last Minute EUROPE, Austria, Belgium, France, CURRENT, Netherlands, England, Spain, Greece headlines and events

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sent a message to Ankara, which vetoed the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO: “Finland and Sweden have fulfilled their memorandum obligations. It is time to complete the accession process and accept these two countries as full members of NATO.”

Reinforcing calls for peace, especially those made by the United States in recent days, Stoltenberg also turned to Kyiv and said: “Putin thought he could defeat Ukraine in just a few days. Nine months later, he adds failure after failure. “Underestimating Russia is a big mistake,” he said.

Stoltenberg, who addressed the 68th General Assembly of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO-PA) held in Madrid, the Spanish capital, made important calls to Ankara, Moscow and Kyiv.

Regarding the accession process of Finland and Sweden to NATO, Stoltenberg said: “In Madrid, all Allies made a historic decision and invited these two countries to join NATO. We signed the accession protocols and now the ratification process is almost complete. Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding in Madrid in June. Finland and Sweden fulfilled their obligations. They are strong partners in our joint fight against terrorism. Therefore, it is important to complete the accession process and make Finland and Sweden full members of NATO. The time has come to accept them.”

Answering questions from parliamentarians at the General Assembly, Stoltenberg said: “In the event of a Russian attack on Finland and Sweden, NATO’s inaction is unthinkable. They have all sorts of warranties. the approval processes need to be completed, but I also want this process to be faster than ever before. Let’s not forget,” he said.

Only Turkey and Hungary among the 30 NATO member states have not ratified the membership protocols in their parliaments. Although Hungary has announced that it will be ratified at the end of the year, Turkey still expects Sweden, in particular, to take “concrete steps to stop supporting terrorism.”

Condemned the terrorist attack in Istanbul

The NATO Secretary General, in response to a question from the Turkish group about the “extension of the Grain Corridor Agreement,” said: “Turkey and President Erdogan played a very key and important role in extending the Grain Corridor Agreement, in the exchange of prisoners. an important and influential member of NATO. “Turkey is a very strong NATO country in the fight against terrorism. In this regard, we condemn the brutal terrorist act that took place in Istanbul last week,” he said.

“It would be a big mistake to underestimate Russia”

Assessing the point reached in the Russian-Ukrainian war, Stoltenberg said in his speech that Russian leader Putin invaded Ukraine thinking he could defeat Ukraine in just a few days, but today he added failure after failure.

“Nine months later, the Ukrainians continue to fight to liberate their lands from occupation. Kherson was the last to be liberated. But it would be a big mistake to underestimate Russia. They have a significant military potential and a large number of troops. Russia is ready to inflict significant losses and inflict terrible suffering on the Ukrainian people,” Stoltenberg said.

Calling on NATO to stand ready to support Ukraine in the long term, the Secretary General said: “Yes, I know there is a price to pay for this support. Many people in our countries face the problem of the high cost of living. Energy and food bills are rising. For most of us, these are difficult times. But NATO: “The price we pay as allies is money. Ukrainians are paying a price measured in blood. And if we allow Putin to win, we will all have to pay a much higher price. Authoritarian regimes around the world are learning that they cannot get what they want by force.”

“The defense budget should be at least 2 percent”

Claiming that NATO has provided Ukraine with arms and training assistance, the Norwegian politician said: “We have made the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War. Now we are doing even more. To do all this, we need to invest more in defense. Vilnius Defense investment will be a key issue at the summit in . 2% of countries’ GDP should be considered the base, not the ceiling, for our defense investments. The war in Ukraine has exposed some important security vulnerabilities. For too long, the Russians have tried to heat our homes and fly our planes. We are dependent on oil and gas. And we have seen how Russia uses energy as a weapon. He tried to use his power to blackmail us and support Ukraine. But Putin failed. The Allies are now diversifying their resources. We are moving away from fossil energy sources and investing in renewable sources. This and “this is good for our security and good for the climate.”

In shedding his dependence on Russia, he warned against new dependencies: “The most important thing is China. We are seeing China’s efforts to control our critical infrastructure, supply chains and key industrial sectors grow. We cannot give authoritarian regimes a chance to exploit our weaknesses and undermine us. “It is very important for us to increase the resilience of our communities and infrastructure. I trust that all of you will also contribute to this cause,” he said.

Sanchez to Putin: “Leave Ukraine alone”

Jens Stoltenberg said the time has come to establish close relations with the two Scandinavian countries, as well as with close neighbors such as Moldova, Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with all like-minded countries in the world.

The Secretary General noted that NATO “shares security interests and faces the same challenges with many countries, from Latin America to the Middle East and from North Africa to the Indo-Pacific.”

“We must support freedom against oppression, democracy against oppression, international institutions based on rules that benefit us all,” Stoltenberg concluded.

Hosting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in his speech to the General Assembly, said that NATO is undergoing a process of profound change with the Strategic Concept and geopolitical developments.

The Socialist leader said: “I want to send a message to Putin from here. Leave Ukraine alone. Do not touch its national sovereignty, protect its territorial integrity. As members of NATO, we will fight together and support Ukraine until they are achieved.” “

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