Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, invited to NATO summit in Vilnius, Belgium, believes Swedish membership by then: “We’re trying to get there”

“We look forward to meeting Mr. Zelensky at our Vilnius summit in July,” Jens Stoltenberg said after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers attended by Ukrainian diplomatic chief Dmytro Kuleba.

For her part, Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib expressed hope on Tuesday that Sweden, like many of her counterparts, could join NATO as its 32nd member at the planned NATO leaders’ summit in Vilnius in July.

It was “an important day,” he told Belka about Finland’s accession, which took shape at the end of an urgent process with the raising of the Finnish flag at NATO’s Brussels headquarters on Tuesday, which began with a request to join last May. Developed by Finland and Sweden.

However, Stockholm comes up against the reluctance of Turkey and, to a lesser extent, Hungary.

Turkey has called for the extradition of dozens of opponents sheltering in Sweden, suspected of being Kurdish or Gulenist “terrorists” – sympathizers of the movement of preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of trying to overthrow President Recep Tayyip. Erdogan. Turkish officials have criticized Sweden for their complacency after a right-wing extremist burned a Koran in January in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm and under the watchful eye of cameras.

The Hungarian government, for its part, last week called on Sweden to “change its tone” and end its policy of “bashing” Budapest, which it said were preconditions for any vote on Swedish membership of the EU NATO.

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Ms Lahbib underlined that Sweden’s accession protocol, which all heads of state and allied governments gave their consent to at a summit in Madrid last July, “is enough”.

“We are trying to get there for Vilnius,” said the head of Belgian diplomacy, referring to the next summit of NATO leaders, which will be held in the Lithuanian capital on July 11 and 12.

According to him, the message sent by the ministers of their allies to the Turkish and Hungarian ministers on Tuesday was the same, sometimes even “humorously”, he underlined.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has called on Turkey and Hungary to recognize Sweden’s membership in NATO “without delay”. “We encourage Turkey and Hungary to ratify Sweden’s Accession Protocol without delay so that Sweden can be welcomed into the Atlantic Alliance as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.

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