Stoltenberg Expects 'Quick' Accession to NATO for Finland and Sweden

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Finland and Sweden’s accession to the military alliance would be unprecedentedly quick during his doorstep remarks at a NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday, June 29.

In response to a question regarding the timeline for the countries joining NATO, Stoltenberg said, “We will make a decision today, or at least at the summit, to invite Finland and Sweden to become members. That’s unprecedented quick. I think you can hardly find any other accession process with so few weeks between the application, that happened mid-May, and the invitation, that will happen now.”

Stoltenberg said a ratification process in 30 parliaments would follow the invitation. “I expect also that to go rather quickly,” he said, “because allies are ready to try to make that ratification process happen as quickly as possible.”

A memorandum signed the day before said representatives of Turkey, Finland and Sweden agreed to implement several measures related to terrorism. One of the agreed points said, “Finland and Sweden confirm that the PKK is a proscribed terrorist organisation. Finland and Sweden commit to prevent activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organisations and their extensions.” Credit: Oana Lungescu via Storyful

Video transcript

JENS STOLTENBERG: One more last thing, I forgot to answer the question about how long this will take. Well, we will make a decision today, or at least at the summit, to invite Finland and Sweden to become members. That's unprecedented quick. I think you can hardly find any other accession process with so few weeks between the application that happened in mid-May and the invitation that will happen now. Then of course, off the invitation, we need the ratification process in 30 parliaments.

That always takes some time, but I expect also that to go rather quickly because Allies are ready to try to make that ratification process happen as quickly as possible. But of course, I cannot promise anything on behalf of 30 parliaments. They have to make those decisions themselves.

- Thank you very much. That's all we have time for.

JENS STOLTENBERG: OK, thank you.

One more last thing, I forgot to answer the question about how long this will take. Well, we will make a decision today, or at least at the summit, to invite Finland and Sweden to become members. That's unprecedented quick. I think you can hardly find any other accession process with so few weeks between the application that happened in mid-May and the invitation that will happen now. Then of course, off the invitation, we need the ratification process in 30 parliaments.

That always takes some time, but I expect also that to go rather quickly because Allies are ready to try to make that ratification process happen as quickly as possible. But of course, I cannot promise anything on behalf of 30 parliaments. They have to make those decisions themselves.

- Thank you very much. That's all we have time for.

JENS STOLTENBERG: OK, thank you.

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