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Italy says yes to NATO enlargement

Sweden and Finland formally submit applications for membership

The ambassadors of Finland and Sweden today submitted their respective applications for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which were submitted to the Secretary General of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg. For its part, the government in Rome expressed its green light in these hours on the occasion of Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin's trip to Italy, who met, among others, Prime Minister Mario Draghi

"Finland and Sweden already cooperate with NATO and share the founding values. We agree to make the procedures for accessions faster: we need to support the countries in the transition period. In recent weeks we have shown great unity with respect to Ukraine also in seeking a negotiated solution and we will continue to do so", Draghi said today during a meeting with the Finnish prime minister. 

Italy and Finland "want to help Ukraine defend itself. We have done so in the past and will do so when necessary. In the defense of Ukraine the Europeans are all together, we are loyal members of the Union".

"This is a historic period at a critical time for our security. We hope to conclude quickly" the accession process, Stoltenberg said. Turkey, on the other hand, is opposed, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatening to block the NATO enlargement process, accusing the two countries of harboring members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist organization. 

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency