Turkish leaders oppose joining Finland and Sweden to NATO

Helsinki (AP) —Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Finland and Sweden were “disadvantageous” to joining NATO, taking advantage of Turkey’s status as a member of the Western military alliance. , Showed that it may reject the move to admit both countries.

“We are closely tracking the progress on Sweden and Finland, but we are not in a positive opinion,” Erdogan told reporters.

Turkish leaders argued that Sweden and other Scandinavian countries were supporting Kurdish militants and others that Turkey considers to be terrorists, and explained their dissent. He also accused Ankara of not wanting to repeat its “mistakes”, saying that NATO’s ally Greece took advantage of its alliance with Turkey.

Prime Minister Erdogan did not assert that he would prevent possible accession attempts by the two Scandinavian countries, but NATO will make all decisions by consensus. That is, each of the 30 member states may have a veto over who can participate.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Finland and Sweden would be welcomed with open arms if they formally applied for membership in the world’s largest security organization.

It can take about six months for member states to ratify the accession protocol, but accession procedures can be completed in “a few weeks,” some NATO officials said.

in the meantime. Moscow has responded negatively to Sweden’s accession to NATO and will take some steps, according to a Swedish government report on the changes in the security environment facing the Nordic countries after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is supposed to be.

The Swedish government’s security policy analysis, which is used by Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson’s cabinet as a basis for deciding whether to seek membership in the Western military alliance, was presented to Swedish lawmakers on Friday.

The Swedish Social Democratic Party, led by Anderson, is expected to reveal its decision on Sunday.

The report noted collective security provided by NATO member states, especially a military alliance of 30 people, which brings many benefits to Sweden. At the same time, it lists many tactics that Russia is likely to take in retaliation.

These include cyber attacks, various types of hybrid attacks, and invasion of Swedish airspace or waters. Other offensive actions, including strategic signals from nuclear weapons, are also conceivable from Moscow, according to the report.

The report states that Russia’s war in Ukraine limits the possibility of attacks on other countries, but Russia still has the capacity for a limited number of hostile measures against countries like Sweden. It states.

The report makes no recommendations as to whether Sweden should join NATO. Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde told a member of the Riksdag parliament that “an armed attack on Sweden cannot be ruled out,” pointing out the security provided by NATO members.

The president and prime minister of NATO member states said Thursday in favor of promptly applying for NATO membership, paving the way for officially announcing NATO bids within a few days.


Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey.