May 20, 2024

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The Swedish Foreign Minister says that his country is close to approving NATO membership

The Swedish Foreign Minister says that his country is close to approving NATO membership

The Swedish Foreign Minister said that his country is getting closer and closer to the ratification of NATO’s request by one of the last strongholds of the military alliance.

Twenty-eight of the current 30 NATO members have endorsed Sweden and Finland’s applications for membership since the two Scandinavian countries submitted formal applications in May. Canada was the first to endorse the applications.

But Turkey – along with Hungary – has yet to accept the bids. The Turkish government has said that Sweden particularly needs to crack down on Kurdish and other groups that Ankara deems terrorist.

New NATO membership must be approved by all existing member states.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström told CBC News Rosemary Barton Live In an interview broadcast on Sunday, the sticking points with Turkey were almost resolved.

watch | The Swedish Foreign Minister discusses NATO’s offer:

Sweden and Finland suspended NATO ratification from the endorsements of Turkey and Hungary

Rosemary Barton Live speaks with Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Tobias Billström, in his first Canadian interview about Sweden and Finland’s NATO ratification process. Turkey and Hungary are blocking their accession to the military alliance.

“We are now very close to the moment when it is time for the Turkish parliament to start the ratification process,” Billstrom told show host Rosemary Barton.

Sweden, Finland and Turkey signed a trilateral memorandum at a NATO summit in June, setting the stage for the Turkish government to sign both requests.

Billstrom said his country “totally” supported its part of that agreement, but noted that its provisions must align with the Swedish constitution after the recent backsliding from Turkey.

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Pro-Kurdish and anti-NATO groups have complicated matters for the Swedish government by staging anti-Turkish demonstrations that have angered the Turkish government, including an effigy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was briefly hung outside Stockholm’s town hall earlier this month.

The Turkish government has called for an investigation into the protest, saying it amounts to racism and a hate crime. Swedish prosecutors have so far said they will not open an investigation.

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Germany is under increasing pressure to allow the export of tanks to Ukraine

Rosemary Barton Live speaks with Dan Rice, Special Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, for his assessment of the war and the growing pressure on Germany to allow the export of its Leopard 2 tanks.

On Saturday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar canceled a visit by his Swedish counterpart that was scheduled for later in the month, citing what he called “disgusting” anti-Turkish demonstrations in Sweden.

Akar said the meeting no longer bore “any importance or point”.

NATO demands a response to Russia’s war on Ukraine

Sweden and Finland abandoned decades of non-alignment and applied to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“The reason we are so keen to join is because of the deteriorating security situation in our region,” Billstrom said.

Dan Rice, an American military expert who is currently serving as a special advisor to the commander of the Ukrainian forces, said that providing security in the region is exactly why NATO was originally formed.

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“I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful example of NATO coming together to finally fulfill the mission that was forged in 1949,” Rice said. Rosemary Barton Live In a separate interview that aired Sunday.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told CBC News power politics On Thursday that the Russian invasion strengthened NATO.

“Vladimir Putin had hoped to divide NATO as a defensive alliance, and instead what we saw was NATO coming together and two new countries applying to join NATO as a direct response to Russia’s attempt to invade Ukraine,” he said.