The meeting in the Spanish capital, which will take place on June 29 and 30, was never considered the last deadline for completing the ratification of Finland and Sweden’s membership, Stoltenberg said, on a working visit to Helsinki, the Finnish capital, in a joint appearance with President Sauli Niinisto.
He also expressed his confidence that both countries will be able to join the military bloc, and therefore considered that the meeting in the Spanish capital will be crucial to iron out what he considered to be legitimate misgivings on the part of Turkey, which is currently opposed to the move.
Turkey’s position against membership must be taken seriously and the way to overcome them is to sit down and talk, he remarked.
Ankara opposes the accession of Helsinki and Stockholm, accusing both Nordic countries of harboring militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, considered terrorist by the former.
The decision of Finland and Sweden to join NATO breaks a tradition of neutrality of the two states, and which Russia, which shares 1,400 kilometers of border with the former, considered as a rupture of the balance in northern Europe.