Rome strongly supports the request of Finland and Sweden to join NATO and is willing to expedite any internal process for the two countries to join the alliance as soon as possible, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Wednesday.
“Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and this is a clear response to the threat to peace in Europe, our collective security,” Draghi told reporters after a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Sanaa Marin in Rome.
Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the NATO alliance on Wednesday, a decision that was encouraged by Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. The process of joining the two states was opposed by Turkey.
Marine told reporters that membership would be approved quickly, “at this stage the best security guarantee for Finland and Sweden.”
Now that the formal application has been submitted, the Nordic countries and their supporters will have to face months of uncertainty over which to overcome any resistance to their bids, requiring the approval of all members of NATO’s 30-member bloc.
Italy has promised to support Finland in time to become an effective member of the alliance.
“Like other NATO and EU countries, we will be involved in helping to ensure Finland’s security in times of crisis, which is what we will see at the scene,” Draghi said.
“It’s a moment of choice and we want the European Union to be a hero.”
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