US expresses confidence in addressing Sweden, Finland's security concerns over NATO application

WashingtonEdited By: Vyomica BerryUpdated: May 06, 2022, 08:30 AM IST

US President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with Inspectors General to discuss oversight, accountability, and transparency, including implementation of his historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan, in the State Dining Room in the White House in Washington Photograph:(Reuters)

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Russia has threatened both Sweden and Finland that will face adverse consequences if they choose to become a part of NATO

The White House has said that the United States is confident in addressing Sweden, and Finland's security concerns after they apply for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Both countries fear they could be vulnerable to attacks by Russia following its invasion of its neighbour Ukraine.

According to White House spokesperson Jen Psaki, "We are confident that we could find ways to address any concerns either country may have about the period of time between a NATO membership application and the formal accession to the alliance."

Russia has threatened both Sweden and Finland that will face adverse consequences if they choose to become a part of NATO.

But it decides to attack them nonetheless, the two militarily non-aligned countries do not have enough capability to defeat it and are thus leaning towards NATO as its article 5 clearly states that an attack on one member is an attack on all members.

Even if the Nordic neighbours both decide to join NATO, the approval process can take up to a year as all 30 members need to ratify any membership bid.

In an effort to assure both the countries, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Swedish public television SVT, "We must remember that from the moment Sweden potentially applies, and NATO says that it wants Sweden to join, there is a very strong NATO obligation to guarantee Sweden's security."

"We have several ways of doing that, among other things with a heightened presence of NATO and NATO forces around Sweden and the Baltic Sea," he added.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde both have met officials from the US to obtain "security assurances."

(With inputs from agencies)

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