Finland, but not Sweden, moves closer to joining NATO

Erdoğan announced the news at a press conference in Ankara on Friday Finnish chairman Sauli Niinistö after the two leaders met for bilateral talks in the Turkish capital.

“When it comes to fulfilling its commitments in the Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding, we have seen Finland authentic and concrete steps‘ said the Turkish leader.

Niinistö said the decision for Turkey to approve his country’s bid to join NATO was a “hopeful” sign like Russia is waging a war in Europe, but also also pushed for Sweden’s approval.

“Are not complete without Sweden‘ said the Finnish president. “We have so much common interest, being neighbors in the Baltic Sea region.”

Erdoğan’s party has a majority in the Turkish parliament and ratification for Finland is expected before presidential elections on May 14.

Turkey will join 28 other countries that have already announced they will ratify Finland’s bid to join the security alliance requires approval from all 30 members.

Hungary has yet to be approved the application for Finland and Sweden.

Erdogan has expressed deep opposition to Sweden’s ratification over concerns that the Nordic nation has supported what it calls terrorist organizations, particularly a Kurdish separatist movement that has been fighting Turkey for decades.

“While we welcome Türkiye’s decision today to formally ratify Finland’s accession protocol, Türkiye’s decision to decouple Finland’s NATO bid from Sweden disappointing and unnecessary, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.) and Thom Tillis (RN.C.), co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate NATO Observer Groupsaid a statement.

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