White House says Sweden’s NATO membership soon

The White House said Friday that Sweden’s membership in NATO will receive final approval soon. According to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, there is a possibility that Turkey and Hungary will withdraw their opposition at the upcoming NATO summit. However, even if they do not, the White House said it remains optimistic that Sweden’s membership will be approved in the “not too distant future.” During a press briefing, Sullivan said that there is “goodwill” within the alliance regarding Sweden’s bid to join the transatlantic alliance.

Jake Sullivan also touched upon concerns over Russia’s deployment of tactical nuclear weapons to the neighbouring Belarus. Sullivan said that Article 5 of NATO serves as the “ultimate security guarantee” for Poland and neighboring states. 

NATO’s Article 5 outlines the concept of collective defense which means that an armed attack against one member of NATO will be considered an attack against all members. 

Ukraine’s NATO membership

White House announced that members will discuss the necessary steps for Kyiv to qualify for NATO membership at the summit in Vilnius next week. The leaders attending the summit will aim to resolve divisions regarding Ukraine’s membership aspirations and address Turkey’s opposition to Sweden’s inclusion.

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The summit will be guarded by Patriot missile batteries, fighter jets, and forces from 17 nations, media reports said. 

The summit will be attended by 31 NATO leaders, including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Ola Scholz and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.