Lifting of sanctions demanded: Erdogan continues to criticize the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO

Despite efforts by the defense alliance to reach an agreement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again criticized the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

We cannot accept the membership of countries that have imposed sanctions on Turkey, Erdogan said Monday in Ankara. He again accused the two countries of supporting “terrorist organisations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier this weekend criticized the existence of arms export restrictions due to Turkey’s fight against these groups and called for their lifting.

Erdogan added that regarding the visit of a Finnish and Swedish delegation to Turkey, they should not even care. “Are they going to come and convince us? If so, no offense, they shouldn’t care,” he said.

Turkey’s president had already caused turmoil in the alliance last week with negative statements about Finland and Sweden’s possible NATO membership and said Scandinavian countries were downright “guesthouses for terrorist organizations”. Alliance secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, however, said after a meeting of foreign ministers in Berlin on Sunday that Turkey had no intention of ‘blocking’ Sweden’s admission. and Finland.

Putin warns Finland and Sweden against joining NATO

Previously, Russian President Vladimir Putin had again said that his country would react to the planned NATO enlargement to Sweden and Finland. NATO expansion is a problem, Putin says in Moscow. Russia has no problem with the two Nordic countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in the Kremlin on Monday.Photo: IMAGO / Anton Novoderezhkin

However, it will react to the expansion of the military infrastructure there. In addition, Russia should also bear in mind that NATO wants to expand its global influence. The Russian government believes that Sweden’s and Finland’s membership in NATO would be a mistake with serious consequences.

According to the president’s office, Russia will closely monitor the NATO membership applications of the two Nordic countries. “This is a serious matter. It is a question that worries us, and we will follow very closely what the consequences of Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO will be in terms of security (…) “said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

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Russian leaders are convinced that joining the two countries in the US-led military alliance would in no way strengthen Europe’s security architecture, Peskov said.

Such a measure would radically change the world situation, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov of the Russian news agency Interfax. Sweden and Finland should have no illusions that Russia would take their decision so lightly, Ryabkov said.

According to Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Sweden wants to apply for NATO today, Tuesday or Wednesday. A corresponding step should be coordinated with Finland. Parliament voted against votes from the Left and the Greens on Monday to apply to join the military alliance. (Reuters)

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