NATO Foreign Ministers Meet in Berlin
May 16, 2022 (EIRNS)—NATO foreign ministers met over the weekend in Berlin and apparently emerged fully committed to the suicidal path of further confrontation against Russia. “Last night, Finland and Sweden updated ministers on their possible applications for NATO membership,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference with Annalena Baerbock. “It is up to them to decide if they want to join NATO. We will respect whatever decision they make, because all sovereign nations have the right to choose their own path.” Ukraine was otherwise the top agenda item, with Stoltenberg claiming that the war is not going well for Moscow and that “Russia is not achieving its strategic objectives.”
“Ukraine can win this war. Ukrainians are bravely defending their homeland,” Stoltenberg solemnly declared. “To help them do so, Allies have committed and delivered security assistance to Ukraine worth billions of dollars, and over the years, NATO and Allies have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian forces. All of this is making a real difference on the battlefield every day.”
Stoltenberg promised that the alliance will speed up its own processes in order to put Finnish and Swedish membership on a fast track. “We will try to speed up that process as much as possible,” he said. “Many Allies have stated that they will find fast tracks as, for instance, Germany has indicated that this can go quite fast.” As for security guarantees ahead of final approval, he said: “We will look into ways to provide security assurances including by increasing NATO presence in the region, in the Baltic region, in and around Finland and Sweden, of course in close consultation and ... an agreement with Finland and Sweden.”
Turkey remains a question mark in all of this, but Stoltenberg expressed confidence that Ankara’s concerns about the two countries joining NATO could be addressed. “Turkey is an important Ally,” Stoltenberg said. “Turkey has expressed some concerns and, as we always do in NATO when there are concerns, when there are questions, we sit down. And I’m confident that we will be able to find common ground and agreement, consensus on how to move on on the membership issue.” He indicated that he had been in contact with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who was an attendance in Berlin. “And I expect that we will be able to follow up quickly if Finland and Sweden apply for a membership,” he said.