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Finland near NATO

  • Turkey seems to be finally allowing Finland to become part of NATO in relation to the ‘fight against the PKK and its branches’, considering that it has fulfilled the conditions imposed by Turkey. Yet Sweden has not yet opened the door at all: it again demands that it extradite 120 "terrorists".
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23 March 2023 - 07:30
Jens Stoltenberg, NATOko idazkari orokorra eta Finlandiako lehen ministro Sanna Marin.

Say, do, receive and give. NATO signed the protocol of accession of Finland to the Atlantic Alliance Sweden in summer, and Turkey implied that it would accept the entry of the two states if they committed themselves to "fighting terrorism". In particular, Turkey obliged Finland and Sweden to "cooperate fully" in action against members of the Kurdistan Workers Division (PKK) and the Civil Protection Units (YPG), inter alia, by extraditing many Kurds that it considers "terrorists". The two Scandinavian countries accepted these requirements in return for Turkey to reject the veto against them.

After almost nine months of process, Turkey seems to definitely open the door to Finland to join NATO. Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said last week that the Turkish Parliament will begin the process of ratifying Finland’s candidature to join NATO. Finland has fulfilled the conditions imposed by Turkey in relation to the ‘fight against the PKK and its branches’, or the government has assessed it.

Hungary is, together with Turkey, the only state that has held a veto against Finland, but the Hungarian Parliament will also process the integration of Finland on the 27th.

Veto in force against Sweden

But with Sweden, for the time being, Turkey has not shown the same attitude. He has not yet abandoned the veto against Sweden, because, according to Erdogan, he has not kept to what was promised. "We are not against Sweden, but Sweden has taken open arms to terrorists and opened the streets to them. I told the Swedish Prime Minister to send 120 terrorists. As they have not given us, we cannot have a positive attitude towards them," the president said recently.

Furthermore, in January, there were two events in Sweden that raised dust: on the one hand, during a protest in Stockholm, several demonstrators representing Erdogan hanged; on the other hand, a fascist burned the Koran before the Turkish embassy in Sweden. This led to protests against Turkey Sweden.

Finland and Sweden put their NATO membership on the table more than a year ago and jointly submitted their applications in May. However, the 29 States members of the Atlantic Alliance have the opportunity to veto the entry of new members, as Turkey did by arguing that the two Scandinavian countries support the PKK and the YPG.

With the integration of Sweden and Finland, NATO would achieve "near-total coverage" of the Baltic Sea, opening up the possibility of surrounding Russia, among other things.


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