Ireland is welcome if you wish to participate

Brussels, Belgium: NATO said Ireland welcomes participation in defense organizations across Europe, according to Secretary-General Jens Stortemberg.

Stoltenberg recognized Ireland’s neutral nation and said NATO would never pressure any nation to join the alliance.

As the Irish Times quoted, “it’s always what they do at their own free will,” Stoltenberg added.

He said NATO’s planned participation by Finland and Sweden was under “absolutely zero” pressure from NATO.

Stoltenberg said 96 percent of Europe’s population will live in NATO countries after joining the two countries.

If Ireland sought to join NATO, Stoltenberg said approval would be decided by all 30 member states. “And again, it’s Ireland’s decision in Sovereign. NATO will never pressure any country to join the alliance,” he added.

However, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, only 24% of Irish citizens are in favor of joining NATO, according to a April Irish Times survey.

Stoltenberg commented on criticism from some Irish politicians that NATO had driven Russia to invade Ukraine by expanding it eastward, saying, “They are absolutely wrong. And Lithuania, Latvia and Poland join NATO because Russia has used brutal force against Ukraine. “

Eastern European countries “decided to join NATO through a democratic and free political process.”

He also says that Russia’s attempt to prevent sovereign nations from joining NATO is “a dangerous idea. In a sense, it allows large nations to control what their small neighbors can and cannot do. We want to respect the country’s decisions. “

Ireland joined the Partnership for Peace program in 1999 and was able to strengthen its cooperation with NATO without committing to NATO’s collective defense.

Stoltenberg said the program was valuable, but NATO always aims to strengthen its partnership “including with Ireland.”

“Because NATO is important to all of us, we strongly believe in working closely with our partners, especially those who share the same values, support democracy and the rule of law, and in fact share the same region. I am.

“Therefore, we need to continue to consider ways to further strengthen our partnership with Ireland and the Irish people.”

He also praised Ireland’s contributions to international peacekeeping operations and NATO-run missions, including Kosovo’s peacekeeping forces. Ireland is welcome if you wish to participate

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