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UPDATE 2: Poland backs Swedish, Finnish bids to join NATO

17.05.2022 15:45
Poland's political leaders have voiced support for Sweden and Finland in their bids to join NATO amid Russia's war on Ukraine.
Finlands President Sauli Niinisto and Swedens Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson meet in Stockholm on Tuesday.
Finland's President Sauli Niinisto and Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson meet in Stockholm on Tuesday.Photo: EPA/Anders Wiklund

Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde on Tuesday signed her country's application to join the 30-member Western military alliance, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde signs her country's application for NATO membership in Stockholm on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde signs her country's application for NATO membership in Stockholm on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Photo: EPA-EFE/Henrik Montgomery via PAP

"Just signed a historic indication letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg from the Swedish government," Linde announced on Twitter.

"Our NATO application is now formally signed," she added.

Hours later, Finland's parliament overwhelmingly approved a proposal to apply for membership of the NATO alliance in a historic policy shift prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Reuters news agency reported.

The vote came after the country's President Sauli Niinisto and the government decided officially on Sunday that Finland would apply for membership, but the decision was pending parliament's approval, according to Reuters.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday hailed "a great decision by the Swedish government to initiate the NATO application process."

He took to Twitter after Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that her government had formally decided to submit a membership application, a day after Finland's Niinisto confirmed that his country would also apply to join NATO.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. Photo: EPA/HENRIK MONTGOMERY

"Congratulations to Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on this courageous move," Morawiecki said in his tweet.

"The Polish government will fully support a swift accession process which is key to strengthening the security of Europe," Morawiecki also tweeted on Monday.

Morawiecki last week hailed "Finland's decision to initiate NATO accession," saying it was "great news for Poland and Europe's security."

"Poland supports Finland joining NATO as quickly and smoothly as possible," he declared at the time.

'Historic decision of Finland and Sweden': Polish FM

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said in a Twitter post on Monday: "I welcome the historic decision of Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership. The accession of Finland and Sweden will strengthen the Alliance and enhance the security and stability of Europe."

Rau added: "Poland will support its partners in their prompt accession the North Atlantic community."

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, tysol.pl