Jan 26, 2023
Finland Signals NATO Accession Must Progress by July Summit
(Bloomberg) -- Finland expects little progress in gaining its way to NATO before the May elections in Turkey, which continues to hold out on ratifying its application alongside neighboring Sweden’s, President Sauli Niinisto said.
A key deadline is the summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders in Vilnius in mid-July, and if there is no movement by then, “concerns will mount” on when a response will be received, Niinisto said in an interview on public broadcaster YLE on Thursday. “What’s needed then is a serious talk, man-to-man.”
“We’ll need absolute clarity on where the shoe pinches and whether there is something to be done about it,” he said. Finland continues to seek entry together with Sweden, Niinisto reiterated.
Turkey and Hungary are the only two of NATO’s 30 members who have yet to ratify the applications. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to sign off on Sweden’s membership, with Ankara saying its main problem is with what it views as Sweden’s hesitance to wage a crackdown on supporters of Kurdish militants, considered as terrorists by Ankara.
Asked what will break the impasse, Niinisto said “it’s in President Erdogan’s brain where this will be resolved.”
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.