Germany and Denmark call for rapid NATO enlargement

Germany and Denmark reiterated today the need for “fast access” for Finland and Sweden to NATO, due to the security situation related to the war in Ukraine, which they considered “dramatic”.

The head of German diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, expressed in a joint press conference with her Danish counterpart, Jeppe Kofod, the conviction that the process will be fast, as all Alliance members are aware that this is a ” historic moment”.

Baerbock acknowledged that “on the part of Turkey there are still some obstacles”, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan re-emphasized on Monday his opposition to the entry of Sweden and Finland, but hinted that he expects a quick resolution by the situation.

“They were pushed to join, those who didn’t want to join NATO,” Baerbock said, calling for rapid ratification of their access to avoid an “intermediate phase” or “gray zone” in which accession candidates are left unprotected.

The two foreign policy officers underlined that in any case, as long as the process continues, Finland and Sweden will receive the corresponding guarantees.

“It is necessary to guarantee their safety, even though they have not yet been formally admitted”, said Kofod, adding that his government will issue a statement on the matter and which must be endorsed in the Danish Parliament.

The minister called the expansion of the Alliance a “key priority” and indicated that for the first time in 70 years the Nordic countries will integrate a collective security organization.

Kofod also considered that his country should abandon the exception clause that allows it to remain outside the European defense policy, an issue on which a referendum will be held on June 1st.

“We want to cooperate with Europe to the fullest extent possible, it is our responsibility”, argued the minister, noting that, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the security situation “has completely changed”.

The two ministers also stressed the need for the European Union to become fully independent from Russia in terms of energy, despite recognizing that “the starting point” is different in each Member State, with no one-size-fits-all solution.

“We must not fall into the trap and allow ourselves to be divided”, said Baerbock, who considered it essential in the short term to look for alternatives to imports from Russia and, in the long term, to bet on renewable energies and “greater interconnectivity”.

“In Europe we have a lot of sun, wind, hydraulic and biomass energy”, he said, noting that through the creation of a “climate and energy union” it will be possible to “take the step together” and convert the European continent “in the first climatically neutral”.

Source: With Agencies


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