Let us in to NATO, Finland tells Turkey and Hungary
Finnish PM Sanna Marin says she wants Orbán and Erdoğan to back Finland and Sweden to join NATO ‘sooner than later.’
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin today called on Hungary and Turkey to approve her country and neighbouring Sweden’s bids to join NATO.
The two Nordic countries asked to join the military alliance in May, prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Hungary and Turkey are the last two NATO members who need to give their consent to the applications of Sweden and Finland.
“All eyes are now on Hungary and Turkey. We are waiting for these countries to ratify our applications. I think it would be important that this would happen preferably sooner than later,” Marin said at a press conference following a Nordic Council meeting in Helsinki. Last week she reiterated that Sweden and Finland would join NATO together.
Turkey accuses the two of harboring what it maintains are terrorist groups. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is demanding that Sweden and Finland extradite suspects Turkey considers terrorists, in exchange for supporting their NATO membership.
Sweden’s new government is committed to addressing Turkey’s demands but Turkey is yet to be convinced. “We are waiting for it to come to life,” said Omer Celik, the ruling party spokesman.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to meet Erdogan in Istanbul, where the two are set to discuss NATO expansion this week. Hungary has pledged to ratify the two countries’ membership bid by bid-December.