Finland may join NATO really soon. President Sauli Nyisto arrived in Ankara to receive Turkey’s verdict on Finland’s NATO bid. Now, Turkey stalled Sweden and Finland’s process of joining the block last year.
Helsinki and Stockholm ended years of military non-alignment and decided to join NATO last year in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war. But their applications were accepted at a NATO summit in June. But that summit was only a statement of intent. You must understand this point here.
Now, the bids still needed to be ratified by all 30 of the alliance members’ parliaments. So this process got hung up once it reached Turkey and Hungary. Finnish president is now in Ankara to meet his Turkish counterpart. This follows months of discussions between the two countries.
The Turkish leader has accused the Nordic neighbors of breaking the terms of a separate deal they reached in June 2022. Turkey agreed to approve the Nordic nation’s NATO bids under the same.
Turkey has sought the extradition of dozens of Kurdish and other suspects. It accuses of ties to outlawed militants and failed coup attempt in 2016. Erdogan’s demands became more urgent as he neared an election in May this year.
The Turkish leader voiced particular displeasure with Sweden, which has a larger Kurdish diaspora and a longer history of disputes with Ankara. This January, Erdogan acknowledged the progress Finland has made on his demands. He also announced that he is now ready to put its ratification before parliament.