- Sweden and Finland submitted their NATO membership applications despite Turkey’s objections.
- The two applicants and other NATO countries were surprised by Erdogan’s concerns.
- Turkey’s rhetoric has hardened in recent days.
On Tuesday, Sweden and Finland moved forward with their applications to join NATO despite Turkey’s stance, which said that it would not allow them to become members of the alliance.
The highly expressed objections raised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the two applicants and other NATO members by surprise.
This complicated what was supposed to be a quick enlargement of the alliance in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and explains the partnership between Putin and Erdogan that is not only targeting the Scandinavian countries but also NATO member Greece.
“Over the past few days, Turkey’s words have undergone a rapid shift toward a more hardline stance. Nevertheless, I am certain that we will find a solution to this problem through constructive dialogue,” stated Finnish President Sauli Niinisto while he was in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.
Niinisto stated that he had a conversation with Erdogan at the beginning of April, and that during the conversation, Erdogan made it very apparent that he was supportive, stating that the Finnish membership should be evaluated favorably. It would appear that there are several points of view at this time. It is imperative that we keep talking about it.”
At a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm on May 17, 2022, the Swedish application for membership in NATO was signed by Ann Linde, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs.