Canada and the Netherlands have a positive view of Sweden and Finland’s forthcoming application for NATO membership, according to their foreign ministers, according to the Alliance’s informal cabinet in Berlin.
Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie stressed that the two countries should not just join the Alliance, but that it should be done very soon. Referring to the Russian president, he said that “if (Vladimir) Putin is looking for someone to blame, he should look at himself in the mirror, as one reaps what he sowed.” Canada’s role, he noted, is that of a “bridge” between countries.
“We have to make sure we can bring everyone to the table and we are obviously strong allies of Sweden and Finland. We will make sure we work with Turkey,” Jolie added.
The Netherlands will certainly be open to any request from Sweden and Finland to join NATO, said Foreign Minister Vopke Hexstra, adding that “this is a time when unity is needed”.
“We have to stay calm and focused,” Hexstra said, adding that the issue was up to the two countries to decide. “I consider them very close partners and allies, we have very close perceptions and in many ways they are already ready to join (…) This is the moment when unity is required and I think we will achieve it,” he added.
Referring to the war in Ukraine, the Dutch Foreign Minister spoke of a “completely unjustified war, which continues with enormous sacrifices and horrific crimes” and expressed the view that it would not end soon. “It is imperative that we continue to assist Ukraine with weapons, sanctions, humanitarian aid and ensure that there is accountability.” If Ukraine decides to negotiate with Russia, he continued, the West will support it.
“The one who is stronger on the battlefield and not pressed in time, has a better position at the negotiating table, so we must ensure that the Ukrainians will be as strong as possible on the battlefield,” Hexstra said. .