German foreign minister says she supports Finland and Sweden joining NATO

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she supports Finland's and Sweden's accession to NATO, reports.

"Each country is free to decide on its alliance membership. This also applies to Sweden and Finland," Baerbock said during the concluding press conference following the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Germany. 

"It is not NATO that has pushed Sweden and Finland to join, but the actions of the Russian President have pushed Finland and Sweden, because they want to continue to live in peace with their neighbors, into this alliance, if they join together, which I would very much support," Baerbock said. 

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday that the Nordic nation will decide "to seek NATO membership in the next few days." On Thursday, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said Sweden will consider Finland's assessments on NATO membership as it also considers joining the military alliance.

"The German government has already made it clear that we more than support this accession. Sweden and Finland are strong countries in terms of their own defense capabilities. That alone would make their accession stronger for NATO," Baerbock said.  

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday welcomed Finland's bid to join NATO and offered Berlin's “full support."

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