Scholz defends decision to send battle tanks to Ukraine – DW – 01/25/2023

…Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed on Wednesday that Germany would be delivering an initial 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks to Ukraine and allowing partner countries to re-export their own German-made heavy battle tanks to the country…

German Foreign Minister Just Said The Quiet Part Out Loud On Ukraine – Nwo Report

Posted BY: Zero Hedge

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock bluntly stated in fresh remarks that Western allies are fighting a war against Russia. The remarks came during a debate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Tuesday amid discussions over sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine...

Ex-soviet state considers joining ‘larger alliance’ — RT World News

21 Jan, 2023 16:07

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Ex-soviet state considers joining ‘larger alliance’

Under President Maia Sandu, the Moldova has pursued deeper integration with the West

Ex-soviet state considers joining ‘larger alliance’

Maia Sandu looks on during the 53rd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2023 ©  AP / Gian Ehrenzeller

Moldovan President Maia Sandu has said that her government is considering joining “a larger alliance.” While she did not name NATO, she has pursued pro-Western policies and stepped up Moldova’s cooperation with the US-led military bloc.

Asked directly about the prospects of Moldova applying to NATO, Sandu told Politico on Friday that “there is a serious discussion” underway in Chisinau “about our capacity to defend ourselves, whether we can do it ourselves, or whether we should be part of a larger alliance.”

“And if we come, at some point, to the conclusion as a nation that we need to change neutrality, this should happen through a democratic process,” she added.

A former World Bank official, Sandu has been unambiguously pro-Western in her outlook since taking office in 2020. Moldova was granted EU candidate status under her watch last year, and will host the second meeting of the European Political Community this summer. Moldova cooperates extensively with NATO, sending soldiers to the military bloc’s force in Kosovo and hosting a ‘NATO Liaison Office’ in Chisinau.

Most citizens of European state believe it’s run from abroad – poll

Read moreMost citizens of European state believe it’s run from abroad – poll

Sandu met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in New York last September, and Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu attended a meeting of the organization in Romania in December.

However, the same “democratic process” that Sandu cited as essential to a decision on neutrality could also dash any potential plans of joining NATO. A poll taken by the Moldovan Institute for Public Policy in December found that only 22.4% of respondents would vote to join the alliance; 54.5% would vote against membership, and 23% were unsure.

Furthermore, NATO membership is essentially ruled out by the existence of Transnistria, a breakaway republic sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine on territory claimed by Chisinau. Transnistria broke away from Moldova in the early 1990s, with the region’s leaders hoping to remain in the collapsing Soviet Union. Today it maintains a close relationship with Moscow, with Russian peacekeepers stationed there and most of the local population holding Russian citizenship.

NATO insists that prospective members peacefully resolve outstanding international, territorial, or ethnic disputes before joining the bloc. It does, however, maintain a so-called ‘open door policy’, despite its leaders promising Russia in the aftermath of the Cold War that it would not take on former Warsaw Pact states as members. The bloc’s continued eastward expansion and refusal to rule out membership for Ukraine were key factors behind Moscow’s decision to send troops into Ukraine last February.

Germany wants US to send tanks to Ukraine first – WSJ — RT World News

19 Jan, 2023 00:53

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Germany wants US to send tanks to Ukraine first – WSJ

Only when the US sends its own tanks will Berlin approve Leopards going to Kiev, officials allegedly said

Germany wants US to send tanks to Ukraine first – WSJ

FILE PHOTO: US Marine Corps and Polish military members operate an M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tank during exercise at Adazi Military Base, Latvia, June 9, 2017 ©  US Air Force / Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh

As demands for Berlin to approve the shipment of Leopard main battle tanks to Kiev threatened to fracture the German ruling coalition, senior officials said the US should agree to send its Abrams tanks first, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Poland, Finland and Denmark have all volunteered to send some of the Leopards in their possession to the Ukrainian military, but such a move would require Germany’s permission. Berlin has yet to receive any formal requests to that effect, officials told the Journal.

“Senior German officials” told the outlet that Germany would be willing to give approval, but only if the US announced it would send Kiev some of its own Abrams MBTs. 

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has described Germany as “strategically interlocked” with its friends and partners when it came to decisions on how to support Ukraine. Asked on Wednesday about the Leopard situation, Scholz told the World Economic Forum in Davos that he was concerned about the conflict in Ukraine escalating.

“The Ukrainians can rely on our support in their courageous fight but it is also clear that we want to avoid this becoming a war between Russia and NATO,” he said.

Germany ‘indirectly’ involved in Ukraine conflict – defense minister

READ MORE: Germany ‘indirectly’ involved in Ukraine conflict – defense minister

While insisting that they are not parties to the conflict, the US and its allies have also argued that “Russia must lose” and supplied Kiev with money and an array of increasingly heavier weapons.

Scholz’s coalition is reportedly split on the issue, with the Greens and Free Democrats in favor of giving Ukraine Leopards right away, while his own Social-Democrats are reluctant. Defense Minister Christine Lambert resigned this week, in part due to the tank controversy. Her replacement, Boris Pistorius, admitted on Wednesday that Germany was “indirectly” involved in the conflict but would not comment on the Leopard affair.

Getting Abrams tanks from the US has long been the goal of Ukraine’s Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, who told Politico in October that the Leopard was a stepping stone on that road. 

According to the same outlet, Washington is reportedly unwilling to take that step at the moment, though not out of fear of further antagonizing Russia. Unnamed Pentagon officials told Politico on Wednesday that the issue is with the “logistical and maintenance challenges” of the Abrams, a 67-ton machine with a gas-guzzling turbine engine.

Ukraine tank donor to ‘follow German lead’

READ MORE: Ukraine tank donor to ‘follow German lead’

On Monday, the UK announced it would send 14 of its Challenger II MBTs, in hopes of nudging other NATO members to follow suit. The single squadron appears to be all the British Army is willing to spare at the moment, though a Tory MP admitted on Wednesday that Kiev needs hundreds to actually make a difference.

Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that sending weapons to Ukraine only prolongs the inevitable and risks escalation. Asked about the Challengers on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said only that “those tanks can burn and they will burn like the rest.”

US senator aims to block $20 billion deal with NATO member — RT World News

14 Jan, 2023 18:49

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US senator aims to block $20 billion deal with NATO member

Bob Menendez has spoken out against selling F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye, saying Ankara must act like a “trusted ally”

US senator aims to block $20 billion deal with NATO member

© Getty Images / Chris Hondros

Plans by President Joe Biden’s administration to approve a $20 billion sale of US-made F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye have hit a potential roadblock, as a key member of the Senate has vowed to block the deal because he considers Ankara to be an untrustworthy NATO ally.

“I strongly oppose the Biden administration’s proposed sale of new F-16 aircraft to Türkiye,” Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said on Friday in a statement. He accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of disregarding human rights, undermining international law and engaging in “alarming and destabilizing behavior in Turkey and against neighboring NATO allies.”

Menendez spoke out, reiterating his opposition to the arms deal, after the US State Department reportedly notified relevant congressional committees of its intention to go forward with the F-16 sale on Thursday. Türkiye requested the aircraft in October 2021, saying it wanted to buy 40 new F-16s and 80 modernization kits to upgrade its existing fleet.

Erdogan brushes off US warnings

READ MORE: Erdogan brushes off US warnings

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez is an influential voice on arms sales and could try to push through a resolution condemning the deal with Türkiye. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the F-16 transfer is contingent on Ankara’s approval of bids by Sweden and Finland to join NATO.

Washington has made “endless” demands on Türkiye in connection with the deal, Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Erdogan, told reporters on Saturday. “If they keep pushing Türkiye in other directions with F-16 (and) F-35 sanctions, and then Türkiye reacts, they blame Türkiye again, then that’s not a fair game . . . . There’s always something.”

Türkiye lambasts US for ‘bullying’ own ally

Read moreTürkiye lambasts US for ‘bullying’ own ally

It’s not clear whether Menendez will drop his opposition to the F-16 transfer if Ankara agrees not to veto NATO’s latest expansion. The senator, who voiced his support for a sale of F-35 fighter jets to Greece, has broader concerns about Türkiye’s conduct.

“Until Erdogan ceases his threats, improves his human rights record at home – including by releasing journalists and political opposition – and begins to act like a trusted ally should, I will not approve this sale,” Menendez said.

Washington disqualified Türkiye from eligibility to buy its latest fighter jet, the F-35, after Ankara acquired Russian-made S-400 air defense systems in 2019.

9/11 was a false flag operation planned by Zionist agents: French anthropologist • – Calculus of Decay

By Laurent Guyénot • September 12, 2020

SourceThe Tehran Times

9/11 was an operation planned and executed by Zionist agents infiltrated in the highest level of U.S. administration and controlling the U.S. and European mainstream media, for the purpose of drawing the U.S. into wars against the enemies of Israel,” says Guyénot, the author of “JFK-9/11: 50 Years of Deep State”.
Noting that Zionists have a significant influence on U.S. foreign policy, he says “Israel, understood as an international community, is a parasite that has taken almost total control of American foreign policy.”
“Moreover,” he adds, “Jewish Zionists have acquired control of all major news media. They control the narrative. In these conditions, it is very difficult for U.S. patriots to expose Israel’s crime.”
Here is the text of the interview with Guyénot:

Q: Your book entitled “JFK-9/11” has gained a great attraction worldwide

US senator declares ‘proud’ AUKUS support after earlier critical letter emerges – ABC News

…On Tuesday Senator Reed went online to publicly declare his support for the “powerful partnership” that was struck in September 2021 by US President Joe Biden, along with former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and former UK leader Boris Johnson….

Sergey Poletaev: Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the US have something in common – their illusions were shattered in 2022 — RT World News

10 Jan, 2023 16:20

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Sergey Poletaev: Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the US have something in common – their illusions were shattered in 2022

All the key players in the current conflict spent years kidding themselves, and peace will only come when they accept reality

By Sergey Poletaev, co-founder and editor of the Vatfor project.

Sergey Poletaev: Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the US have something in common – their illusions were shattered in 2022

©  Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

The Russian military offensive in Ukraine has set in motion a chain of events that has led to a global upheaval – in political and economic terms – comparable to world wars. We are probably in the initial phase of this conflict, and more players will become involved over time, but some conclusions can already be drawn.

The past year has been one in which postmodernism collided with the real world. Almost all of the direct and indirect actors in the Ukrainian crisis built their domestic and foreign policies on theoretical, highly ideological constructions. And the more the wishful thinking, the tougher the consequences now.

Let’s take a look at the main players.


Our first and foremost illusion was about the contractual commitments of other parties. All through the post-Soviet era we had tried to resolve the Ukraine issue peacefully on the assumption that this would be better for all.

Ivan Timofeev: In 2022, the world as we knew it ended. Decades of conflict lie ahead

Read moreIvan Timofeev: In 2022, the world as we knew it ended. Decades of conflict lie ahead

The idea was that the West – especially the part bordering the leading nuclear power – would get a predictable security situation and clear rules of the game, together with a high degree of influence over Kiev. Western Europe would, in addition, preserve and strengthen its ties with Russia as its main resource base and also gain access to its extensive market. Ukraine would have the possibility of a soft integration into greater Europe while maintaining deep economic and cultural ties with Russia. Meanwhile Moscow, apart from its further gradual integration into the Western and primarily EU-led system, would maintain influence over Ukraine and enjoy the guarantee of friendly policies from Kiev towards both the Russian state and the multi-million ethnic Russian population in Ukraine.

However, the entire history of post-Soviet Ukraine is a history of backward movement (which will be discussed below). This state of affairs has been irreversible since 2014, and the consistent ignoring of this fact and attempts to override the inevitable process – via agreements with Kiev and the West – have led us to the current military campaign.

What exactly went wrong at the end of February last year is something we will not know for some time. However, if Moscow had the goal of solving the Ukrainian problem according to the 2008 Georgian scenario – with little blood and within a few days – this objective has obviously not been achieved.

The fact is that the 30-year old anti-Russian outpost turned out to be very strong and ready to fight even at the cost of its own destruction – again, contrary to common sense, as it is understood in Moscow. 


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ©  Sputnik / Sergei Savostyanov

Hopefully, Russian illusions have been dispelled definitively and our political and military leadership is no longer relying on rational behavior from both the West and Kiev. However, so far, the course of the military offensive suggests rather the opposite.

Right now, offensives are being carried out only in the Donbass, and not along the entire front, but in localised areas – mainly by the forces of the Wagner private contractor group and the former local militias. There is a sense that during 2022 we didn’t really know what to do next, as if we were waiting for the enemy to get fed up before we did, and finally start to negotiate for real.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Why the Russia-Ukraine conflict is existential for both sides

Read moreFyodor Lukyanov: Why the Russia-Ukraine conflict is existential for both sides

Our second illusion concerned the combat capabilities of the army. The actions of the Russian Armed Forces are generally criticized in patriotic circles. But it should be understood that, for some time now, our army has not prepared for a large-scale land conflict with a front line of a couple of thousand kilometres, with the need to conduct combined armed operations on the level of World War Two, backed up by the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of men. This will not change overnight. And although the shortcomings identified in the actions of their Armed Forces, and their leadership, are recognized and somehow being addressed, we do not yet see a full-scale offensive with the decisive goal of defeating the Ukrainian Army. Perhaps we will this year. Perhaps the army is just now preparing rather than waiting.


The main illusion of the US in the post-Cold War era has been a belief in its complete control (or at least dominance) over what goes on in the world, and hence the notion that the interests of its counterparts is determined in Washington, and only in Washington. Put simply, things will be as I want them to be, and if not, I have sufficient means to cajole and punish those who disagree.

In many ways, this inflexibility has led to the current crisis: it was impossible for US elites to reach an agreement with Russia – while saving face and even benefitting economically and politically. Even though Moscow seemed prepared to compromise.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Why the US has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, from prolonging the Ukraine conflict

Read moreFyodor Lukyanov: Why the US has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, from prolonging the Ukraine conflict

The situation is similar all over the world: everywhere the United States acts on the principle of “Might goes before right.”

In the Middle East, such behaviour has already led to a sharp weakening of America’s position; the prospect of conflict with China has become almost irreversible, and Washington has laid time bombs under its relations with allies in Europe and Asia that are likely to go off in the coming years.

Since the Second World War, the United States had been building a global system, a kind of new type of empire. Washington has consistently taken control of political and economic processes in the world without much resistance – on the contrary, everyone has sought to integrate into this system, some gaining markets and access to cheap money, some obtaining a security umbrella and an opportunity not to spend money on their armies, some getting their hands on the latest technology.

The US itself skimmed the cream off all this, and after several generations the American political class became convinced that such a system was not the result of painstaking work and consideration of partners’ interests, but some kind of birthright, which at times became a burden. Hence, the more hysterical American foreign policy has become and the more it has attempted to force others to bend to its will. Consequently, it has undermined the global US-centric system.

Washington still has a solid margin of safety, its base remains large, and alternative global institutions are only just beginning to take shape, so do not expect any noticeable change in US policy in the coming years, especially as internal divides are more likely to increase the foreign policy strain.


US President Joe Biden ©  Mario Tama / Getty Images

The second American (as well as Western European) illusion is that a military conflict, on the scale of what’s happening in Ukraine, can be won without direct involvement. Yes, the Ukrainian military is holding up quite well, but Russia has so far engaged only a small part of its military resources in the operation, and the degree of escalation on our part is now determined by political decisions, not military and mobilization capabilities. If we are willing and ready, we can increase the onslaught many times over, to which it will be extremely difficult for the West and the US to respond without directly engaging their forces (at least air defence and air force) in the conflict. However, President Biden has repeatedly stressed that he will not intervene as long as he’s in power. 

Ivan Zuenko: China unveils a surprising new weapon in its information war against the West

Read moreIvan Zuenko: China unveils a surprising new weapon in its information war against the West

Western Europe

Western Europe’s main illusion is that its well-fed prosperity of recent decades is its own achievement and that it’s based on a set of abstract values. In reality, its wealth has rested on two pillars: the American military, political and economic roof and cheap resources, primarily Russian.

A lack of concern about its own security and the impossibility of internal conflicts, on the one hand, contributed to an unprecedented economic boom, a true golden age, and on the other hand, led to the degeneration of Western European elites and the political class, who sincerely believed that this would always be the case and that all it took was cultivating values and striving to spread them to the rest of the “backward” world.

This explains Western Europe’s stubbornness on the Ukrainian issue – which borders on fanaticism. The EU, and its allies, accepts the most vicious anti-Russia sanctions with the greatest fervor, and with no regard for any damage.

The bloc is deprived of a major market, of its most important resource base, and is being driven into near-colonial dependence on Washington, which, unlike Western Europe, has real military power and control over political and economic processes globally.


French President Emmanuel Macron, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon, President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, and European Council President Charles Michel. ©  Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Since the West’s attempt to shock and awe Russia economically failed, Western Europe’s leaders are at a loss: the same people, a couple of days apart, can talk about the need for a military victory over Moscow and the need for a diplomatic dialogue – without seeming to understand much about what “military victory” and “diplomatic dialogue” mean.

The prospect of years of high energy prices and the resulting de-industrialisation and falling living standards, the likelihood of a trade war with the US in a global recession, the possibility of subsidizing a ruined Ukraine for an indefinite number of years, the specter of hundreds of billions in losses from lost accumulated investments in Russia should be sobering, but have not yet led to any solutions. Because there is simply no one to make and implement them.

Fyodor Lukyanov: One year ago, Russia gave the West a last chance to prevent a full-blown conflict – what went wrong?

Read moreFyodor Lukyanov: One year ago, Russia gave the West a last chance to prevent a full-blown conflict – what went wrong?

Plus, the long-standing problems of the EU, which it has brushed under the carpet in recent years – such as the migration crisis and the constant concern about southern Europe’s economic stability – remain.


Ukraine’s main illusion is the belief that it is possible to build a mono-ethnic state hostile to Russia within its post-Soviet borders with a significant Russian population, and the belief that such a Ukraine will be tolerable to both the West and Russia itself.

Ukraine is not Poland, and the attempt to tilt decisively to one bloc has led to a civil conflict, each side supported by the West and Russia respectively. After this conflict escalated into open conflict in 2014, Ukraine started to turn from an anti-Russian outpost into a weapon, a kind of kamikaze drone of the West against Moscow.

Admittedly, this was partly successful: both the Ukrainian armed forces and the state as a whole withstood the February blow, recovered, and with Western support, inflicted a series of painful defeats on Russia by the autumn.

The military successes, however, are not strategic, and the price is the death of the Ukrainian economy. According to various estimates, up to a third of the (pre-February 2022) population has fled the country. Meanwhile, production was cut in half even before the Russian strikes on energy facilities started in October, and by the New Year, according to official Kiev statements, it was down by 70 percent. This means unemployment, empty coffers, further impoverishment of the population and mass closures of businesses.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ©  Metin Aktas / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Yes, the West now serves as a powerful rear for Ukraine, at considerable cost, but it avoids getting directly involved in the fighting, shifting all the burden and hardship to Kiev. Whatever the end of the hot phase of the conflict, it appears that a devastated Ukraine will have to deal with the consequences on its own, and the further it goes on, the harder they will be.

However, even if some among the Ukrainian elites can guess how they are being used, they cannot stop. The Western control is too tight, the ideological pumping is too great and things have gone too far.

Dmitry Trenin: Post-Soviet Russia is dead, but what will replace the West as the country's primary inspiration?

Read moreDmitry Trenin: Post-Soviet Russia is dead, but what will replace the West as the country’s primary inspiration?

Ukraine is now a zombie, a dead man walking, and it will continue moving as long as the West supports it. Nevertheless, even as it is, the Ukrainian military is capable of fighting for years, especially given the current sluggish course of the conflict.

The West can withdraw support for Ukraine only in one scenario: if Kiev’s army is defeated and physically incapable of fighting, or if Ukraine physically shrinks enough to lose its strategic significance. Any ceasefire would only postpone the conflict for the future, and there should be no illusions about that.


The conflict has so far only escalated. For both Russia and the West it is existential, and neither side is inclined to compromise. All the more surprising is that the hostilities have so far been relatively localized, limited to one Ukrainian theater, and even there in a measured and positional manner. The parties seem to be focused on how to learn to live under the new conditions, which means that figuring out the new world order could happen relatively peacefully, without turning into major battle with the risk of a nuclear disaster.

The initiative in this process will be taken by whoever accepts reality first, understands their place in it, and acts accordingly. This applies not only to the above-mentioned participants in the Ukrainian crisis, but also to neutral countries that have yet to give up their own illusions.

Sweden complains NATO member is asking for the impossible — RT World News

8 Jan, 2023 18:07

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Sweden complains NATO member is asking for the impossible

Türkiye is demanding too much, despite multiple concessions, Stockholm says

Sweden complains NATO member is asking for the impossible

©  Getty Images / Michael Campanella

Swedish prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, has complained during a security conference on Sunday that Türkiye has piled impossible demands on the country as prerequisites for joining NATO.

Türkiye “has confirmed that we have done what we said we would do, but it also says that it wants things that we can’t, that we don’t want to, give it,” he lamented. Still, he predicted Ankara would “make a decision, we just don’t know when” – with the outcome dependent both on internal Turkish politics and “Sweden’s capacity to show its seriousness.

One of just two members yet to approve Sweden’s accession to NATO, Türkiye officially rescinded its objections in an agreement announced in June, stating at the time that it had “got what it wanted,” including “full cooperation… in the fight against” terrorism, from both Sweden and fellow applicant Finland. Its objections had centered on the countries’ support for the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), a group banned in Türkiye as a “terrorist” organization.

Swedes oppose Türkiye’s NATO demands – poll

Read moreSwedes oppose Türkiye’s NATO demands – poll

However, just days after Sweden’s Supreme Court blocked the extradition of former newspaper editor Bulent Kenes last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu scolded Stockholm for what he described as the lack of a “concrete development regarding the extradition of terrorism-related criminals and the freezing of their assets.” The diplomat specifically referred to the Kenes case.

In denying Kenes’ extradition, the court argued that some of the journalist’s alleged crimes were not punishable by law in Sweden and suggested he would be subjected to political persecution if sent home. Kenes received political asylum in Sweden in 2016 following the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara has accused him of having foreknowledge of the coup attempt and being a member of a terrorist organization.

Swedes have urged their government to stand firm on judicial independence even if it means delaying joining NATO. A poll conducted earlier this month found 79% of respondents wanted Stockholm to “stand up for Swedish laws” in the face of Turkish demands, while just 10% suggested that the country should prioritize joining the bloc as soon as possible. 

Sweden’s troubles could delay the accession of its fellow applicant as well, as Finland doesn’t want to move forward in ditching its longstanding neutrality without its neighbor. “Finland is not in such a rush to join NATO that we can’t wait until Sweden gets the green light,” Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters on Sunday.