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Finland's Europe minister appeals for 'swift' NATO membership amid security 'grey zone'

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Finland’s Europe minister has told FRANCE 24 her country is appealing to NATO members to “swiftly” accept Finland’s application to join the military alliance. Tytti Tuppurainen acknowledged that her country is in a “security grey zone” and asserted that she is confident that opposition from Turkey can be overcome.

After Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu described Finland and Sweden’s NATO applications as “threats” to Russia, Tuppurainen acknowledged that Finland wishes to obtain membership “swiftly”.

“We don’t have the Article 5 security guarantees yet,” she said. “This is a grey zone and I think it is in the best interests of all parties to keep that grey zone as short as possible, so we really appeal for swift adoption of our accession treaties.”

All 30 NATO member states must approve any new application. At the time of recording, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is still insisting he will “say no” to Finland and Sweden. Asked about this, the Finnish Europe minister responded that “after discussion, we can find an understanding. We will bring added value with our strong defence force, and I believe that in the end it is also in the interests of Turkey”.

>> Not what Putin wanted: How will Russia respond to NATO bids by Finland and Sweden?

Produced by Georgina Robertson, Sophie Samaille, Perrine Desplats and Isabelle Romero


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