U.S. To Provide Security Assurances To Sweden And Finland On Road To Joining NATO
EUROPE - The United States has stated that they are ready to provide various forms of security assurances to both Finland and Sweden on their road to joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Britain also said that it's inconceivable that Britain wouldn't come to their aid if they were attacked.
Finland and Sweden had been worried about their security during the 'grey period' before their application to join NATO would be completed when they would still be vulnerable from an attack by another country, such as Russia.
Without full assurances that the NATO alliance would come to their aid if such an attack happened before the application process was finalized, Russia could take advantage of that grey period and launch conceivably launch an attack.
After talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said that the United States is "ready to provide various forms of security assurances" to both Finland and Sweden.
On Wednesday, the British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also said that "it’s inconceivable that Britain would not come to the support of Finland or Sweden if it was ever attacked" no matter what stage the two countries are in regarding their process in joining the NATO alliance.
Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb stated during an interview on Bloomberg TV Thursday that they expect "three types of intimidation or action. One is hybrid, one is cyber and then one is information. The information war is already going on".
Linde also said that the assurances from the United States would not be the same as security guarantees, but that "it would be clear to Russia that if they conduct any negative activities toward Sweden, which they have threatened, the U.S. would not let that pass unnoticed, without doing anything".
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has told the two countries that they would be welcomed into the alliance with 'open arms' and that it would be a 'quick process'.
On April 28th, Stoltenberg stated, "I’m also certain that we will be able to find arrangements for that interim period” between applications “and until the formal ratification is finalized in all 30 parliaments".
"I’m confident that there are ways to bridge that interim period in a way which is good enough and works for both Finland and Sweden" he added.
On Wednesday Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told reporters in Copenhagen that the "best security guarantee" would be to "keep the ratification process as short as possible".