Erdogan opposes Sweden and Finland joining NATO
Finland’s decision has been taken, Sweden still has to decide: the possible admission of the two countries to NATO is arousing positive reactions among the member states – but not in Turkey.
DTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has opposed Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Friday that he had no “positive opinion” on the two countries joining the military alliance. He justified his position by saying that the Scandinavian countries behaved “like a guesthouse for terrorist organizations”.
Among other things, Erdogan accuses the Scandinavian countries of harboring members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), banned in Turkey. Admission of new members must be unanimously approved by NATO member states. Turkey would thus have the possibility of blocking the admission of Sweden and Finland.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said in a statement to the AFP news agency that she would have the opportunity to speak with her Turkish colleague Mevlut Cavusoglu about “a possible Swedish candidacy for NATO “. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto made a similar statement at a press conference in Helsinki.
Finland wants to join NATO, Sweden has not yet made an official decision
Turkey, a member of NATO, has good relations with Ukraine and Russia. So far, the country has been ambivalent about the war in Ukraine: the country has supplied Ukraine with combat drones – but unlike its Western allies, it has imposed no sanctions on Russia. Turkey has also repeatedly offered to mediate in the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine prompted the two Scandinavian countries to join NATO. The Finnish head of state spoke out on Thursday in favor of an “immediate” candidacy for the Western defense alliance. In neighboring Sweden, the decision to join NATO is to be announced in the coming days.
A new parliamentary security report on Friday listed the benefits of NATO membership for the country. However, the 40-page report did not contain a clear recommendation.
On Thursday, Russia warned against admitting Finland and Sweden to NATO. It would “not make the world and our continent more stable and secure,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.