German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated on Tuesday that if Sweden and Finland opted to join NATO, his country would support them.
“We are closely monitoring the debate in both countries over possible NATO membership,” Scholz said in a press statement after meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson at Meseberg Castle near Berlin.
“However, it is very clear to us that if these two countries decide that they want to belong to the NATO alliance, they can count on our support,” the chancellor added.
He stressed that all members of the German government agree on this issue during their talks with the Finnish and Swedish leaders at Meseberg Castle, saying this was an “important sign.”
Sweden and Finland have accelerated efforts to join the western military alliance in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Both countries are expected to reach a decision on NATO membership later this month.
Meanwhile, relations of Helsinki and Stockholm with Moscow continue to worsen over the issue of NATO. Finland and Sweden are set to back additional steps by the European Union to impose tougher trade and other sanctions on Russia.