Finland considers NATO membership without Sweden after Turkey blocks Swedish candidacy
Finland has shown itself open to the possibility of joining NATO without its Nordic partner Sweden, after Turkey declared they would not support Sweden’s entry into the organization.
The Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, declared this Tuesday (01.24.2023) that Finland should evaluate the option of joining NATO without Sweden if something in the long-term prevents them from moving forward.
The joint accession of both countries remains “the first option”, however Haavisto clarified that “it’s too early to take a position.” This declaration follows after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan excluded voting for the Swedish candidacy due to an Islamophobic provocateur burning the Koran in Stockholm.
Erdogan said late Monday that Sweden could not get any support from Turkey on the NATO issue due to the lack of respect shown to the religious beliefs of Muslims. In response, Haavisto pointed out that such protests play with the security of both Finland and Sweden.
Turkey, a current member of NATO, has been preventing both countries from joining the alliance for months. Turkey mainly accuses Sweden of supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and has requested the extradition of a number of people Ankara considers terrorists.
Of the 30 NATO members, 28 have already ratified the applications for membership from Sweden and Finland, with only Turkey and Hungary still to approve.