Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday his country is not “friendly towards Finland and Sweden joining NATO, suggesting that Turkey might use its position as a member of the Western military alliance to veto moves to admit the two countries.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained his opposition citing alleged Swedish and other Scandinavian countries’ support of Kurdish fighters and others that his country regards as terrorists. We are following developments concerning the Swedish and Finnish governments closely, but our view is not favorable, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters.
Erdogan did not explicitly state he would block any accession attempts that might come from those two countries, but NATO makes all decisions about NATO by consensus, meaning that every one of its 30 member countries has a potential veto on who gets to join.
As has been well-known, Turkey’s current stance is such that Finland and Sweden do not have any place in the military bloc, and likely, at the next NATO summit, Turkey could staunchly oppose expanding the North Atlantic alliance.
Previously, Russia warned about military and political consequences should neighboring Sweden and Finland choose to be members of NATO. Sweden and neighboring Finland had been militarily unaligned for decades, but after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, they both saw a surge in public and political support to join NATO.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that his country is “not favorable” toward Finland and Sweden joining NATO, indicating that Turkey could use its status as a member of the Western military alliance to veto moves to admit the two countries.
“We are following developments concerning Sweden and Finland, but we are not of a favorable opinion,” Erdogan told reporters. The Turkish leader explained his opposition by citing Sweden and other Scandinavian countries’ alleged support for Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers to be terrorists.
He said he also did not want to repeat Turkey’s past “mistake” from when it agreed to readmit Greece into NATO’s military wing in 1980. He claimed the action had allowed Greece “to take an attitude against Turkey by taking NATO behind it.” “msn.com“
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Finland and Sweden, should they officially request membership in the world’s largest security organization, will be welcomed with open arms. The president and prime minister of Nordic neighbor Finland said on Thursday that they were supportive of fast-track NATO membership applications, clearing the way for Finland to officially make its membership request within the next few days.
Finland’s President and Prime Minister issued statements on Thursday calling for its Legislature to make an application for NATO membership without delay, while leaders in Sweden are expected to make a similar statement soon.
A Swedish governments report on the changing security environment facing northern European countries following Russia’s incursion into Ukraine The Swedish government said Thursday that the northern European countries will respond negatively to Sweden joining NATO, and have launched several countermeasures. “federalnewsnetwork.com“
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