Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will respond positively to Helsinki’s bid for NATO membership if Finland takes an adequate stance.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday that Turkey sees no decisive steps from Sweden to fulfill Ankara’s NATO membership commitments. On the same day, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara views Finland’s membership in NATO positively, while Sweden does not.
“Regarding Finland, as I said before, we don’t have a big problem in the process with Helsinki. If Finland continues this position, our response will also be adequate,” Erdoğan said in an interview with TRT TV.
Finland and Sweden, against the backdrop of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, submitted applications to the NATO secretary general for membership in the alliance on May 18, 2022. At the moment, Sweden’s and Finland’s applications to NATO have not been ratified by only two countries out of 30 – Hungary and Turkey. Turkey could make a decision on Finland’s NATO membership that would “shock” Sweden, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier.
Earlier Tobias Billström, head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, stated that against the background of the Quran burning events the process of joining NATO was suspended. However he expressed the hope that agreement with Ankara would be reached at the summit of the Foreign Ministries of the alliance countries in Vilnius in July. A source in Ankara told RIA Novosti that the trilateral mechanism of the Swedish and Finnish NATO membership processes was suspended for an indefinite period at the request of the Turkish side.
Earlier Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto allowed continuing the ratification procedure of the country’s application to the North Atlantic Alliance separately from Sweden, but then took back his words. For his part, Cavusoglu said that Turkey had not received a proposal from Finland on a separate application for NATO membership from Sweden.
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