Finland and Sweden have confirmed that they want to go the way of NATO together. However, Turkey is still blocking this and complains above all that Sweden is not acting decisively enough against terrorists.
Despite the ongoing blockade by Turkey, Finland and Sweden want to continue becoming members of NATO together. The journey that has begun must continue “hand in hand”, said Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin during a visit to Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in Stockholm. “Finland and Sweden applied together and it is in everyone’s interest that we join NATO together,” she said.
Kristersson also emphasized: “We have embarked on this journey together. And we are also completing the journey to membership together.”
Islamophobic actions make it difficult to join NATO
In May 2022, the two Nordic EU countries applied to become members of NATO in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. However, Turkey blocks this and justifies this attitude, among other things, with the fact that Sweden is not doing enough to combat terrorists.
After Islamophobic actions in Stockholm, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said that Sweden could not count on Turkey’s support on its way to NATO. In January, a far-right politician burned the Koran in Stockholm. Turkey is also demanding that the two Nordic states no longer tolerate people in the country who Ankara considers terrorists, but rather hand them over. Turkey refers to members of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK.
Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer announced today that Sweden would tighten its anti-terror law. Until now, suspects could only be prosecuted if their actions could be linked to a specific terrorist incident. The new law, which is set to take effect in June, would cover all types of participation, Strommer said.
Unanimous approval required
However, in order for new members to be accepted into NATO, all 30 NATO members must ratify the applications. 28 have already done so in the case of Sweden and Finland, only Turkey and Hungary are still missing. Erdogan is now more positive about Finland joining NATO.
Finland: Sweden no “problem child in the classroom”
Finnish Prime Minister Marin made it clear that she didn’t like Sweden being portrayed as “kind of a problem child in the classroom”. Like Finland, Sweden also fulfills everything that is necessary to become a member of the alliance.
It is trusted that all NATO members will be able to ratify the proposals “soon” and that Finland and Sweden will be members of the alliance until the NATO summit in Vilnius in July.