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The Lithuanian government on Monday backed plans to give a mandate to the country's Ambassador to NATO Deividas Matulionis to approve Sweden and Finland's NATO membership.
Government backs authorizing ambassador to back Sweden and Finland's NATO membership
© Reuters / Scanpix

Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said during the Monday meeting the decision is aimed at giving a mandate to sign the two Scandinavian countries' accession protocols "when the time to do so comes".

"I propose turning to the president for the mandate to be given and for the ambassador to have it," the premier said.

The Scandinavian countries applied to join NATO last week. Their bid will have to get approval from the Alliance's members, a process that normally involves the countries' ambassadors.

However, the process has recently stalled due to Turkey's block as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the two candidates, especially Sweden, of being soft on Kurdish fighters who are regarded as terrorists by Ankara and the EU.

Launched in late February, Russia's war in Ukraine has changed the minds of politicians and societies in Sweden and Finland, known for their non-alignment policy, about the possibility of joining the Alliance.

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