US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expresses confidence that Sweden will join NATO by July

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State

© APA | Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State

# 07 April 2023 07:46 (UTC +04:00)

According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the United States administration is confident that Sweden will become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) by the time of the summit that takes place in Vilnius on July 11-12, APA reports citing EuroWeekly.

Blinken stated this during an interview with Euronews on Thursday, April 6. A transcript of the interview was released by the US State Department.

When asked whether the United States believed that Sweden will join NATO in the near future, he responded: “I am convinced that this will happen soon. I expect that by the NATO summit to be held in Vilnius in July, Sweden will join Finland as two new members of NATO”.

Blinken recalled that Türkiye and Hungary have not yet ratified the agreement on Sweden’s entry into the alliance. “Türkiye has legitimate interests and has worked directly and successfully with both Finland and Sweden to try to solve some of these problems”.

“I think you have seen the success of this process manifest in Finland’s accession to NATO. I fully expect that the same thing will happen to Sweden in the coming weeks and months, in any case, I would assume that by the summit in Vilnius”, Blinken stressed.

The US administration believes that the issue of Ankara’s acquisition of F-16 fighter jets from Washington is not related to Sweden’s entry into NATO. “For us, this is a completely separate issue. We support Türkiye in obtaining an upgraded F-16 programme, including new F-16s and upgrades to existing F-16s”, he explained.

Blinken concluded: “This, for the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, does not depend on Sweden’s NATO accession process or, for that matter, from any other matter”.

Bills on the ratification of the protocols on the accession of the two countries to the North Atlantic Treaty were submitted by the Hungarian government to parliament last summer. Finland and Sweden submitted their applications on May 18, 2022, indicating that the events in Ukraine prompted them to take this step.

Among all NATO countries, Ankara also did not ratify the documents on Sweden’s accession. It is demanding more decisive measures by Stockholm against Kurdish extremists who have settled in the country before its government will look to ratify Sweden’s accession.