Finnish diplomat suggests joining NATO sans Sweden post-Erdogan warning

Turkish President Erdogan had stated that Sweden should not expect support for their bid to join NATO, due to recent protests in Stockholm involving anti-Islam activists and pro-Kurdish groups

Finnish diplomat suggests joining NATO without Sweden post Erdogan warning
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto hinted at Finland going alone if it turns out that Sweden's NATO application is stalling I MFA Finland/Twitter

On Tuesday, Finland’s leading diplomat hinted that the country may consider joining NATO without Sweden, following a warning from Turkey’s President Erdogan questioning the expansion of the alliance.

We still have to evaluate the situation if it turns out that Sweden’s application is stalling for a long time to come, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told Finnish broadcaster YLE.

Also Read: Why Turkey isn’t keen on Finland, Sweden joining NATO, and why that matters

His comment came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden not to expect support for its bid for NATO membership following weekend protests in Stockholm by an anti-Islam activists and pro-Kurdish groups.

Advertisement



Sweden and Finland’s historic bid to join the alliance needs the approval of all existing NATO members, including Turkey, which has so far blocked the expansion, saying Sweden in particular needs to crack down on exiled Kurdish militants and their sympathizers.

Until now, Sweden and Finland have been committed to join the alliance together, but Haavistos comment appeared to suggest that Finland was considering proceeding without its Nordic neighbour.

Also Read: Turkey flays burning of Quran during far-right protest in Sweden

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom told YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Corporation) that they are in contact with Finland to find out what is really meant.

(With agency inputs)

CATCH US ON: