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Live news: Stoltenberg praises Nordic apps Nato as security-enhancing

Jens Stoltenberg: Nato Secretary General hails Sweden and Finland’s accession applications as a boost to Europe’s security © AFP via Getty Images

The head of Nato announced that Finland and Sweden will increase security for Europe after the two Nordic countries applied to join the Western defense alliance.

Ambassador Nato of Finland and Sweden presented their request for accession to secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Wednesday.

“This is an auspicious day at a critical time for our security,” said Stoltenberg, who added that he warmly welcomed the applications.

He added: “You are our closest partner, and your membership in Nato strengthens our overall security.”

Nato will now take one to two weeks to review applications before issuing formal invitations to both countries, according to officials. All 30 existing members will then have to approve the applications, which is estimated to take 4 to 12 months.

Turkey has threatened to block both countries and Stoltenberg said the security interests of all allies must be “taken into account”. He pledged that the coalition was “determined to work through all issues and reach a swift conclusion”.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson will visit US President Joe Biden on Thursday in a bid to gain his support for a quick ratification and efforts to stem the opposition. establishment of Turkey.

Both nations want security guarantees from allies, with Britain, Norway, Denmark and Iceland all agreeing to assist if they come under attack before committing to their collective defence. union as a full member.

Stoltenberg stressed on Wednesday: “Nato is on alert in the Baltic Sea region and Nato and allied forces will continue to adapt as needed. All allies agree on the importance of expanding Nato. We all agree that we must stand together, and we all agree that this is a historic moment that we must all seize.”

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