Finland and Sweden pledge to join NATO together – POLITICO

Finland and Sweden have agreed to join NATO at the same time, their prime ministers said after talks in Helsinki on Friday, as the two countries await Turkey’s final approval.

“For us it is very important that Finland and Sweden join NATO simultaneously,” Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said alongside her new Swedish counterpart, Ulf Kristersson, who took office earlier this month.

Hungary and Turkey are the only countries yet to ratify Finland and Sweden joining the security alliance, a process that began after Russia’s war with Ukraine.

While Budapest has said it should formally approve the offers by the end of the year, Turkey has yet to budge. In June, Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed an agreement aimed at resolving Turkish concerns centered on the two countries’ alleged support for Kurdish organizations.

Marin said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told him at a recent leaders’ summit in Prague that there were still outstanding issues for Sweden, but insisted the Finnish government would not confirm. first its own NATO membership.

“It is very important that we work together and both countries ensure that Turkey can ratify our membership as soon as possible,” Marin said.

Swedish media Aftonbladet reported that Kristersson was set to meet Erdoğan on Nov. 8 in Ankara in a bid to resolve the pending opposition.

Speaking in Helsinki on Friday, the Swedish leader said Turkish concerns were “perfectly legitimate” and would not give a fixed timetable for securing Ankara’s support.

“Of course Sweden and Finland want ratification as soon as possible,” Kristersson said, adding that he was ready to visit Turkey. “We have taken each step hand in hand and neither of us has any other ambition.”

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