Caroline Baudry (in Helsinki), edited by Laura Laplaud
07:22, May 14, 2022
Finland, followed closely by Sweden, must formalize its candidacy for the Atlantic Alliance on Sunday during a press conference. If the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, says he is ready to welcome these two Scandinavian countries with “open arms”, Turkey, a member of the Alliance, threatens to prevent their accession.
Sweden and Finland plan to discuss with Turkey during an informal meeting this Saturday in Berlin, after the hostility displayed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan at their entry into NATO. An accession of Finland as of Sweden would be “a mistake” according to the Turkish president. He spoke to the press on Friday in Istanbul: “We are currently following the developments concerning Sweden and Finland, but we do not have a positive opinion”, he declared before adding, “they have , previously, made a mistake in NATO regarding Greece’s membership. And you know the attitude of Greece with Turkey, once it was in NATO.”
Tension rises between Russia and Finland
Turkey has historically had complicated relations with its Greek neighbor. Recep Tayyip Erdogan also accused the two candidate countries of serving as “hostels” for the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party considered terrorist. These statements threaten to block the entire accession process. The 30 member countries of NATO must approve the request.
Washington reiterated its support for the candidacy of the two countries and is working to “clarify” Turkey’s position. As tension mounts between Russia and Finland, Moscow is suspending its electricity deliveries there from today. Without consequence, since it represents only 10% of the country’s consumption, assure the Finnish authorities.