NATO Finland conjures up candidacy without Sweden

NATO: Finland conjures up candidacy without Sweden

Published on: 24.01.2023 – 13:41

Finland speaks for the first time of a NATO candidacy without Sweden. “An option to explore,” even if it’s not the first choice, said Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, reacting to the fact that the Turkish president hinted yesterday that he would not praise Sweden’s entry into the Atlantic Alliance. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemns Sweden for allowing anti-Turkish and Islamophobic protests.

With our correspondent in Stockholm, Carlotta Morteo

“The protesters are playing with the security of Sweden and Finland,” said the head of Finnish diplomacy, Pekka Havisto, who believes the protests by pro-Kurdish activists last week then set this weekend’s rally organized by a notorious Islamophobic fire on the Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm are an “obstacle” to the two countries joining NATO.

Sweden reacts

If Finland does not want to go it alone, that joint membership remains “the first option” and it is still “too early to make a decision”, this change of position triggered an immediate reaction in Sweden. Foreign Minister Tobias Billström this morning called for a statement from Helsinki.

Discussions paused

Sweden believes it has done everything in its power to meet Ankara’s demands. She defended the fact that freedom of expression is protected by the Swedish constitution and that the Swedish judiciary does not have the final say on Turkey’s extradition requests. The tripartite talks between Finland, Sweden and Turkey will be put on hold for a few weeks anyway. Finnish diplomacy indicates that it is time to ease the tensions a bit.

►Read also : Sweden will not have Turkish support for NATO, Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns