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White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan says Finland and Sweden‘s formal application to NATO is “a watershed moment in European security,” and he says he’s “confident” that despite Turkey’s objections, the two countries will have “an effective and efficient accession process.”
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Sullivan’s remarks at the White House briefing Wednesday come as Turkey renewed its objections to the two Nordic nations joining NATO shortly after the countries submitted their formal applications to join the military organization.
WATCH: Finland declares its intention to join the NATO alliance
The move by Finland and Sweden marks one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war on Ukraine — and which could rewrite Europe’s security map.
“Two nations with a long tradition of neutrality will be joining the world’s most powerful defensive alliance, and they will bring with them strong capabilities and a proven track record of security partners,” Sullivan said.
The United States struggled Wednesday to get clarity from Turkey over the severity of its opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took an increasingly tough line against their membership bids.
Still, Sullivan said the White House is “confident that at the end of the day, Finland and Sweden will have an effective and efficient accession process, that Turkey’s concerns can be addressed.”
“The great thing about the free world, about the Western alliance, about NATO is that you’ve got a raucous collection of states that all have opinions, that all have perspectives, that all have interests. But they also know how to and when to pull together and how to settle any differences, and I expect these differences will be settled,” Sullivan added.
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