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Leader says Turkey opposes letting Finland, Sweden join NATO

By Via AP news wire
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that his country is “not favorable” toward Finland and Sweden joining NATO, indicating that Turkey could use its status as a member of the Western military alliance to veto moves to admit the two countries.

“We are following developments concerning Sweden and Finland carefully, but we are not of a favorable opinion,” Erdogan told reporters.

The Turkish leader explained his opposition by citing Sweden and other Scandinavian countries’ alleged support for Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers to be terrorists. He also accused Greece, a NATO ally, of using the alliance against Turkey, saying Ankara did not want a repeat of that “mistake.”

Meanwhile. a report by the Swedish government on the changed security environment facing the Nordic country after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine says Moscow would react negatively to Sweden joining NATO and launch several counter-measures.

The Swedish government’s security policy analysis, which will be used as a basis for Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Cabinet to decide whether to seek membership in the Western military alliance, was presented to Swedish lawmakers Friday.

Sweden’s governing Social Democratic Party, led by Andersson, is expected to reveal its decision on Sunday.

The report pointed to NATO membership carrying a number of advantages for Sweden - above all the collective security provided by the 30-member military alliance. At the same time, it lists numerous tactics Russia is likely to take in retaliation.

These would include cyber and different kind of hybrid attacks, violations of Swedish airspace or territorial sea. Other aggressive behavior including strategic signaling with nuclear weapons are also conceivable from Moscow, the report said.

The report states that Russia’s war in Ukraine limits the possibilities for attacks on other countries but that Russia still has the capacity for a limited number of hostile measures against countries like Sweden.

The report does not make recommendations whether Sweden should join NATO or not. Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde told lawmakers at the Riksdagen legislature that “an armed attack on Sweden cannot be ruled out” and pointed to the security guarantee that NATO membership would offer.

The president and prime minister of Nordic neighbor Finland said Thursday they’re in favor of rapidly applying for NATO membership, paving the country’s way to formally announce membership bid in the coming days.

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Dive Deeper:
Turkey's president opposes letting Finland, Sweden join NATO
"We are following developments concerning Sweden and Finland, but we are not of a favorable opinion," Erdogan told reporters.
Erdogan says Turkey opposed to Finland, Sweden NATO membership
Ankara could block the pair from joining the US-led military alliance, with unanimous agreement needed on new members.
Erdoğan: Turkey ‘not positive’ about Sweden and Finland joining Nato
Turkish president says he is following developments as two Nordic nations plan applications
Turkey says it is ready to discuss NATO membership with Finland, Sweden
Turkey voiced readiness Saturday to discuss Finland and Sweden's plans to join NATO, despite accusing them of habouring "terrorist organisations".…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Erdoğan says Turkey does not support Finland and Sweden joining NATO
A formal objection by Turkey would derail Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO.
Exclusive-Turkey 'not closing door' to Sweden, Finland NATO entry, Erdogan advisor says
Turkey has not shut the door to Sweden and Finland joining NATO but wants negotiations with the Nordic countries and…
Get all your news in one place