The Times: Finland without Sweden


The Times newspaper published an article in which it dealt with the issue of Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO, with Türkiye’s continued opposition to Sweden’s accession to the alliance due to differences between the two countries.

The article focused on official statements by the Government of Finland that reflect its insistence on joining NATO with Sweden, announcing its rejection of a Turkish proposal to join it alone amid strong opposition from Ankara to Stockholm’s accession to the alliance due to the intractable dispute between the two countries.

There is a large agreement between the defense and security decisions taken by the two Scandinavian countries, and they submitted formal requests to join the military alliance on the same day last May after the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced them to abandon non-alignment.

Türkiye accuses Sweden of harboring terrorist elements linked to the Turkish opposition, such as the PKK, and the issue behind Ankara’s objection to Stockholm’s official request to join NATO.

Recently, statements emerged from the Turkish side hinting at the possibility of Erdogan’s administration reversing Finland’s request while insisting on its position rejecting Sweden’s membership request.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu suggested that there is a possibility to deal with each of the two requests to join NATO separately, saying: “It may be fair to differentiate between a problematic country and another that is less exciting”.

The Turkish president made statements that seemed like he might agree to Finland’s request to join NATO, but he might continue to oppose Sweden’s accession.

Erdogan said, “We may send a different message to Finland, and our message may shock Sweden, but Finland shouldn’t make the same mistake as Sweden.

The Finland’s foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto rejected the remarks, saying, “We’ve a strong desire to join NATO with Sweden”.

Haavisto indicated that his country may move forward on its own if the Swedish path continues to be obstructed.

But Finland’s foreign minister confirmed that these statements were reported inaccurately after it sparked speculation that Finland might continue on its own in its efforts to join NATO.

It seems that the only obstacle to Türkiye’s approval of Sweden’s request to join NATO is Ankara’s demand, which includes that Stockholm hand over a number of Kurdish opponents and supporters of Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish authorities on the basis of accusations of terrorist activities.

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