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Sweden and Finland’s plan to join NATO face opposition from Turkey

Sweden and Finland's plans to join NATO are opposed by Turkey - Photo 1.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO – Photo: REUTERS

On May 16, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said the “majority (of MPs) in Parliament supports joining NATO” after the debate on security policy.

“We are stepping out of an era and starting a new one,” Andersson said, adding that Sweden would “soon” notify NATO in the next few days.

Previously, on May 15, Finland officially announced its intention to join NATO. Finland and Sweden are reportedly preparing to apply to join the NATO military alliance this week.

In response, the NATO Secretary-General wrote on Twitter: “Sweden is one of our closest partners and its accession will strengthen the security of the Euro-Atlantic region as well. like Sweden’s during a critical period”.

Britain also announced that it welcomed Sweden and Finland’s application to join NATO, saying that the two countries should be admitted “as soon as possible”. “The UK is extremely supportive of Finland and Sweden joining NATO,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said.

France’s Elysee Palace announced that it will “stand by” with the two Nordic countries that want to join NATO. “Those who want to challenge Europe’s unity by threatening or attacking our sovereignty… must clearly understand that France will stand with Finland and Sweden,” the statement read. . Similarly, Canada said it wanted NATO to quickly admit Sweden and Finland.

However, the path of joining NATO of the two countries faced a major obstacle, which was the opposition of Turkey.

At a press conference on May 16, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that Finland and Sweden do not need to send delegations to Ankara to convince Turkey what to do. “We will not allow countries that sanction Turkey to join the NATO security organization,” Erdogan said. Sweden previously stopped selling weapons to Turkey in 2019 due to its military activity in Syria.

Erdogan also accused Finland and Sweden of not having a clear attitude towards terrorism, even calling Sweden an “incubator” for terrorist organizations. “How can we trust them?” he said.

Finland and Sweden’s applications to join NATO will require the consent of all 30 members of the group, and the approval process can take up to a year.

On May 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO is not a direct threat to Russia, but warned that the bloc’s expansion of military infrastructure on the territory The territories of these two countries will force Moscow to respond.

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