NATO’s deputy head sees no imminent military danger from Russia to Sweden and Finland and is optimistic that the aspiring NATO members will join the alliance despite Turkey’s concerns, he said on Friday at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit.
Finland and Sweden requested to join NATO last month in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey opposes them, accusing them of aiding and harboring Kurdish militants and other organizations it considers terrorists.
“We are confident that Sweden and Finland will join our ranks,” said Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana. “Allies are worried. And when it comes to terrorism, Turkey has some reasonable fears “He continued.
Sweden and Finland have stated their opposition to terrorism and their willingness to engage in discussion.
When asked about the security assurances given to Sweden and Finland until they become full members of NATO, Geoana stated he did not perceive any significant threat from Russia.
“We don’t see signs from Russia of having the capabilities or intention at this point to be aggressive in military terms against these two aspirant countries,” he added.
“We can treat this period with caution in a proactive way, but we don’t see real risks from a traditional military standpoint for Finland and Sweden.”
Finland said on Thursday that it intends to alter border law to enable the construction of obstacles along its eastern border with Russia in order to increase its preparation for hybrid threats.