Finland, Sweden NATO bids has a backer: Italy
Published : Wednesday, 18 May, 2022 at 11:09 PM Count : 1416
Rome strongly supports Finland's and Sweden's application to join NATO and is willing to speed up any internal procedures for the two countries to join the alliance as soon as possible, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Wednesday.
"The application for NATO membership is a clear response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the threat it poses to peace in Europe, to our collective security," Draghi told reporters after a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Rome, Reuters reports.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the NATO alliance on Wednesday, a decision spurred by Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. The two states' accession process faces objections from Turkey.
Marin told reporters a fast ratification of membership would be the "best security guarantee for Finland and for Sweden at this stage".
With the applications now formally submitted, the Nordic countries and their backers face uncertain months where any resistance to their bids needs to be overcome, with all 30 of NATO's members needing to approve the enlargement.
Italy also pledged to support Finland during the time required for it to effectively become a member of the alliance.