Finland’s foreign minister doesn’t expect progress in his country’s and Sweden’s bid to join NATO before Turkey’s elections in May, but the Scandinavian nations are on track to finally join a military alliance. I believe that
According to Yle, Foreign Minister Pekka Harvist said, “In my view, the path to NATO is not closed for either country.”
Finland and Sweden are seeking NATO membership after Russia’s attack on Ukraine has raised new security concerns across the region. But Turkey has previously objected, and under NATO rules, she can only refuse membership of new applicants to one member state.
Harvist’s remarks came days after Ankara called for a postponement of a tripartite conference between Turkey, Sweden and Finland in February, Turkish state broadcaster TRT Harbor said, citing unnamed diplomatic sources. I told you.
How we got to this point: Relations between Turkey and Sweden were hit hard last Saturday after Stockholm police allowed protests outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. Protesters soon took to the streets of the Turkish capital, some burning Swedish flags outside the embassy.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday that meetings on the NATO application by Sweden and Finland have been postponed given the current “unsound political environment”.
The three countries have previously met under a Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding to discuss Sweden’s and Finland’s requests for NATO membership.
A planned visit by the Swedish Defense Minister to Turkey was also canceled by Ankara shortly after last Saturday’s incident.
Speaking to CNN’s Isa Soares on Tuesday, Finland’s foreign minister said there was “some sort of delay due to recent events,” adding, “Of course, this is not good news.”
Haavisto indicated that Finland has no plans to proceed with its bid for NATO membership without its Nordic neighbors. “We’re in no hurry. We have time to go with Sweden,” he told CNN.
Niamh Kennedy and Amy Cassidy of CNN contributed reporting for this post.