Germany issues warning to NATO members — RT World News
Hungary and Turkey must keep their promises and formalize Finland and Sweden joining the bloc, says foreign minister
Hungary and Turkey should stop blocking Finland’s and Sweden’s ratification of NATO membership, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Thursday, adding that there is a « clear base » for allowing the two Nordic nations to join the military bloc.
Ankara and Budapest have delayed the process, with Türkiye highlighting concerns over alleged Swedish and Finnish support for the Kurds « terrorism, » while Hungary says it will vote on the issue after resolving a number of disagreements with the EU.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Swedish counterpart, Tobias Billstrom, Baerbock said Ankara and Budapest are committed to formalizing membership « and that’s exactly what they need to do now. »
She then blamed Budapest for delaying the ratification process. « As regards the question about Hungary: I would like to make this clear (…) there is no gray area », she noted, adding that Berlin would provide « his kind encouragement » for the membership process.
In May, amid Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, Sweden, along with neighboring Finland, broke with its decades-long stance of neutrality and formally applied for NATO membership. While the bloc has accepted the applications, the candidacy of the Nordic nations must be ratified by all 30 member states, and the approval of Turkey and Hungary is still pending.
Ankara demands that Stockholm and Helsinki do more to fight « terrorism, » in particular the Kurdish groups which are prohibited in Turkey, the negotiations on this subject are still in progress.
Meanwhile, Hungarian officials have repeatedly declared their support for NATO enlargement. On Wednesday, Gergely Gulyas, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, said the Hungarian parliament would discuss ratification during the autumn session.
“Finland and Sweden are our allies and they can count on us,” he said, adding that he hopes they will finish the process « before the end of this year. »
The Hungarian government tabled the relevant bills in mid-July, but they have still not been debated. Budapest has denied delaying the entry process, but officials said they would not vote on the issue until they pass laws aimed at easing the dispute with the EU, which has proposed reducing of some 7.5 billion euros ($7.66 billion) in funding. for Budapest due to corruption issues.