Turkey continues to block: Finland fears hesitation

Turkey continues to block
Finland fears stagnation when joining NATO

Turkish President Erdogan remains adamant about NATO’s forthcoming talks with Finland and Sweden. Following Ankara’s refusal to join the alliance, Finnish Prime Minister Marin is concerned about the talks.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin fears that Finland and Sweden’s accession talks with NATO will be delayed unless an agreement is reached with Turkey at the Madrid summit at the end of June. “I think it’s important that we move forward on this issue,” Marin told reporters during his visit to Sweden. “If we do not solve these problems before Madrid, we risk freezing the situation.”

Finland and Sweden have left decades of military neutrality and applied for NATO membership just months after Russia invaded Ukraine in May. All 30 NATO members must unanimously approve the accession of new member states. However, Turkey is blocking the entry of both Nordic countries.

Ankara has accused Sweden and Finland of harboring a banned Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey and Western allies call a “terrorist organization.” Marin said Finland was taking Turkey’s concerns seriously and wanted to resolve the problems and clarify possible misunderstandings. But Ankara must also try to find a solution.

NATO is working “hard and actively” on the problem with Turkey

On Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured Sweden of the Alliance’s support and assistance. “In terms of security policy, Sweden is in a better position today than it was before applying for membership,” Stoltenberg said during a visit to Sweden. NATO allies, notably the United Kingdom and the United States, have already provided the candidate with a security guarantee.

If the Scandinavian country were attacked, it is “unthinkable that NATO allies would not respond,” Stoltenberg said. This was clearly stated to “every potential attacker.” The Defense Alliance is also working “hard and proactively” to allay Turkey’s concerns so that Sweden and Finland can join NATO quickly.

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