“Our strong desire in Finland is to join NATO with Sweden. We remain steadfast,” Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters in Helsinki on January 30.
Haavisto’s statement came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country could accept Finland’s entry into NATO without Sweden.
However, the Finnish foreign minister insists that Sweden is the closest ally in terms of defense and foreign policy. “I consider the NATO summit in Vilnius in July an important milestone and hope that by that time both countries will be accepted as NATO members.”
Turkey has suspended NATO accession talks with Finland and Sweden, a move that could hamper the alliance’s plans to expand to 32 members.
The Turkish leader also repeated his demand that Sweden hand over the suspects Ankara is looking for, mainly related to the Kurdish militia that Ankara considers “terrorists” and involved in the coup plot. 2016.
Sweden and Finland in May 2022 ended decades of military non-alignment and applied to join NATO. To join the union, the two Nordic countries must have their applications approved by the parliaments of all 30 member states. Turkey and Hungary are the two remaining members that have not yet agreed, but the Hungarian legislature is expected to ratify both Finland and Sweden next month.