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Finland denies NATO membership without Sweden rumors.

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Finland aims to join NATO together with Sweden before the Vilnius summit in July, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green), who met his Swedish counterpart in Espoo, said on Tuesday, noting that all other options are “speculative”.

Finland will not join the NATO alliance without Sweden, the country’s political leadership said in response to the growing speculationsand rumours about Finland going it alone.

Earlier this week, Iltalehti reported – based on its own ”security and foreign policy” sources – that Finland is preparing for the event that Turkey only ratifies Finland’s NATO membership bid, acknowledging that Turkey’s strong opposition to Sweden’s membership may mean the end to the current joint bid.

However, Finland aims to join NATO together with Sweden before the Vilnius summit in July, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green), who met his Swedish counterpart in Espoo, said on Tuesday, noting that all other options are “speculative”.

On the side of Sweden, Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said he considered it inappropriate to comment on Finland’s decisions.

The foreign minister’s position was also echoed by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at a press conference with Canada’s Governor-General Mary Simon in Helsinki.

The ”goal is for Finland and Sweden to be accepted as soon as possible,” he said.

There should be a more open debate on how to react if Turkey and Hungary only ratified Finland’s application, the Chair of the parliament’s Foreign and Security Committee, Jussi Halla-aho of the Finns Party, told Helsingin Sanomat.

”It would be good to be open about this dilemma, not sweep it under the carpet and just keep repeating that we wish to join with Sweden. That’s what we surely want, but the issue is not entirely in our own hands. Presumably, some people are afraid that saying it aloud makes it more probable,” Halla-aho added.

Former long-time Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen (SDP) also commented on the situation.

Writing for Hufvudstadsbladet on Tuesday, Lipponen instead said that the US has more say when it comes to Sweden and Finland joining. The US should realise that leaving Finland and Sweden outside the alliance would be a major defeat for NATO, he said.

”Responsible for a positive outcome is NATO’s biggest member, the US. It is pointless to carry on a ratification dance with Turkey,” Lipponen wrote.

Source: euractiv

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