MOSCOW (Sputnik): NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday it was up to Turkiye whether to ratify Finland first and Sweden afterwards or let both Nordic nations join the military alliance together.
“My position is that both can be ratified now. But the main issue is not whether they are ratified together. The main issue is that Finland and Sweden are ratified as soon as possible,” he told reporters in Ankara.
He argued that both Sweden and Finland had made progress on Turkiye’s concerns since the three signed a joint memorandum at a NATO summit in July and it was time for them to become full members.
“Let me add one more thing. And that is that this is a Turkish decision. It’s the Turkish government, the Turkish parliament, that decides on the issue of ratification, and it’s a Turkish decision alone,” he said.
Stoltenberg admitted that the recent burning of the holy Muslim book in Stockholm was “disgraceful” but he insisted that Sweden had acted promptly to prevent protesters from torching more copies of the Quran. He said Sweden had also made good on its promise to address Ankara’s terrorism concerns.