World, Europe

Romania hosts meeting of NATO foreign ministers

Ministers meet to discuss Russia-Ukraine war along with NATO membership of Sweden, Finland

Talha Öztürk   | 29.11.2022
Romania hosts meeting of NATO foreign ministers


NATO foreign ministers are taking a part in a two-day meeting in the Romanian capital Bucharest starting on Tuesday.

The ministers are set to discuss the war in Ukraine, considered a threat to Euro-Atlantic peace and security.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings said Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to use winter as a weapon against Ukraine and that Russia might continue attacking the Ukrainian electricity grid and natural gas infrastructure.

Stoltenberg added that NATO foreign ministers will meet with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to discuss Ukraine’s most urgent needs.

"NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will not back down. There can be no lasting peace if the aggressor wins," said Stoltenberg.

Ukraine’s top diplomat said NATO foreign ministers will discuss the provision of new weapons, ammunition, and military equipment for Kyiv during the meeting.

Also, the foreign ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Moldova will be present to discuss cooperation with NATO.

"These three countries are facing Russian pressure in many different ways, so at our meeting, we will take further steps to help them protect their independence and strengthen their ability to defend themselves," said Stoltenberg.

Nordic countries' NATO bid

Stoltenberg also said it is time to finalize the accession process of Finland and Sweden and welcome them as full-fledged NATO members.

"This will make them safer, NATO stronger and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure, he noted.

Ankara’s security concerns to be addressed amid Nordic nations’ NATO bids

Türkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, among the participants of the NATO meeting, is expected to meet with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

He also announced on Monday that a meeting with Swedish and Finnish foreign ministers will be held in a tripartite format on Tuesday.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Ankara’s security concerns will be addressed under the June tripartite memorandum.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in May, abandoning decades of military non-alignment, a decision spurred by Russia's war against Ukraine.

But Türkiye voiced objections to their membership bids, accusing the two countries of tolerating and even supporting terror groups.

Türkiye and the two Nordic countries signed a memorandum in June at the NATO summit in Madrid to address Ankara's legitimate security concerns, paving the way for the NATO membership of Finland and Sweden.

Finland and Sweden extend their full support to Türkiye countering threats to its national security, according to the memorandum. To that effect, Helsinki and Stockholm are not to provide support to the terror group YPG/PYD or to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated 2016 coup in Türkiye.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.

Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have warned that Türkiye will not give the nod to the membership of Sweden and Finland until the memorandum is implemented.

Unanimous consent of all 30 existing allied countries is required for a country to join NATO.

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