VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Monday urged Turkey to have an exhaustive list of requirements for Sweden's NATO membership.
Speaking on the eve of the Alliance summit, the Lithuanian leader stressed that Ankara had previously made certain demands on Sweden, which it had undertaken to implement.
“It is important that this list of requirements is exhaustive and that when all these requirements are implemented, new ones do not appear, as this leads to certain doubts whether it is possible to achieve this goal," Nauseda said in Vilnius on Monday in response to a statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Ankara would back Sweden's NATO candidacy if the European Union resumed the long-stalled membership talks with Turkey.
Turkey is a candidate to join the EU, but its membership bid has been stalled due to Ankara’s democratic backsliding and disputes with EU-member Cyprus.
Nauseda said he hoped that some consensus could still be reached on Monday evening when NATO, Swedish and Turkish officials meet for talks.
“Sweden's strategic importance is (...) essential for the whole Baltic region, including Lithuania, because it makes the Baltic Sea an internal NATO sea and significantly facilitates the planning and implementation of our joint operations,” the Lithuanian leader said.
For his part, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told the joint press conference that a “specific list of conditions” had been agreed in Madrid last year for Finland and Sweden to implement in order to secure Turkey's backing for their membership.
"Sweden has met these conditions”, the secretary general of the Alliance stressed.
Finland joined the Alliance in April this year.