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Disagreement on NATO accession: Turkey threatens Finland with a blockade


NATO accession: France will defend Finland and Sweden against any attack Created: 05/16/2022, 22:33 By: Lukas Zigo, Sonja Thomaser, Nadja Austel, Vincent Büssow, Christian Stör It's official: Sweden wants to join NATO. Erdogan reiterated his opposition to the two countries joining. Finland and Sweden:Erdogan against NATO entry: "Bedground for terrorist organizations". Application now official:

NATO accession: France will defend Finland and Sweden against any attack

Created: 05/16/2022, 22:33

By: Lukas Zigo, Sonja Thomaser, Nadja Austel, Vincent Büssow, Christian Stör

It's official: Sweden wants to join NATO.

Erdogan reiterated his opposition to the two countries joining.

  • Finland and Sweden:

    Erdogan against NATO entry: "Bedground for terrorist organizations".

  • Application now official:

    Sweden and Finland decide to apply for NATO membership.

  • NATO accession a “serious mistake”:

    Russia threatens Finland and Sweden.

  • Swedish parliament debates joining NATO:

    Prime Minister calls for "broad support" in view of the Ukraine conflict.

+++ 10 p.m.:

Great Britain has spoken out in favor of Finland and Sweden joining NATO as quickly as possible.

The two countries should become members of the western defense alliance "as soon as possible," Secretary of State Liz Truss said on Monday.

"The UK strongly supports Finland and Sweden's bids for NATO membership," Truss said.

This step will “strengthen the collective security of Europe”.

During the accession process, London will "offer any support".

+++ 9.15 p.m .:

France will defend Finland and Sweden against any threat or attack in the first case.

This was announced by the French Presidential Office.

With this, France agrees to support Finland and Sweden, which recently decided to join NATO, politically and through "enhanced military interactions" and to protect the country against any threat or aggression.

Emmanuel Macron (r), President of France, speaks to snipers during a visit to the French military base in Suippes, near Reims.

© Yoan Valat/dpa

"Whoever wants to test European solidarity by threatening or attacking sovereignty must be sure that France stands by Finland and Sweden," the Élysée said in an English-language press statement.

Finland and Sweden: Erdogan against NATO entry - "hotbed for terrorist organizations"

+++ 8.30 p.m .:

After broad approval of Finland and Sweden’s accession within NATO, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not want to go along with it.

He continues to object to the two countries joining NATO.

Turkey would “not say yes” to the two countries joining NATO, Erdogan confirmed on Monday evening (May 16, 2022).

Neither country has a "clear stance on terrorist organizations," said the Turkish president, who even described Sweden as a "hotbed for terrorist organizations."

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD, l), takes part in the reception with military honors in front of the Presidential Palace alongside Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey.

© Michael Kappeler/dpa

Turkey has long accused Nordic countries of harboring Kurdish extremist groups like the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as well as supporters of US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen - particularly Sweden, where many Turkish immigrants live.

The Turkish President's statements caused irritation in NATO.

Many NATO countries, including Germany, have declared their explicit support for Sweden and Finland's accession plans.

Sweden wants to join NATO - Putin announces reaction "depending on the danger".

+++ 6.40 p.m .:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of an increase in international tensions in view of Finland and Sweden’s efforts to join NATO.

"This exacerbates the already difficult international security situation," Putin said on Monday at a meeting with heads of state and government from former Soviet republics in Moscow.

If the alliance moves its military infrastructure to Russia's borders, then it will respond accordingly, he said.

Because of Putin's war of aggression against Ukraine and out of fear for their own security, Finland and Sweden intend to apply for NATO membership in the coming days.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, attends a meeting of leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) at the Kremlin.

© Alexander Nemenov/dpa

Kremlin chief Putin said that Russia has no problems with Finland and Sweden.

"And that's why the enlargement to include these countries does not pose an immediate threat to Russia in that sense," Putin said.

Nevertheless, there will be a reaction from Russia, depending on the danger of the military infrastructure that NATO is building there.

Sweden wants to join NATO: "We are leaving an era"

+++ 16:53:

Under the impression of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Sweden is breaking with its long tradition of non-alignment and wants to apply for NATO membership together with Finland.

"We are leaving one era and entering a new one," Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in Stockholm on Monday.

"Swedish NATO membership raises the threshold for military conflicts in Sweden and in our immediate vicinity," Andersson justified the historic decision, which was not easy for her government.

"There is much in Sweden worth defending, and in our opinion that is best done in NATO," said Social Democrat Andersson.

It wasn't just the changed security situation that drove Sweden into the arms of NATO - but also the fact that Finland, fearing its big neighbor Russia, rushed ahead of the country with rapid steps.

"If Sweden were alone outside of NATO, we would be in a very vulnerable position," Andersson said.

Magdalena Andersson (r), Prime Minister of Sweden, and Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Swedish Moderate Coalition Party, hold a press conference.

© Henrik Montgomery/Tt/dpa

In the past, the ruling Social Democrats stood like no other party for Sweden's freedom from alliances and a critical view of NATO membership.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the government made a complete about-face within a few months and has now announced that it will submit an application for membership in the defense alliance in the coming days.

NATO accession: Russia can neither threaten Sweden nor Finland

+++ 3.45 p.m .:

Years of neutrality are now over for Finland.

In view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia's neighbor has decided to join NATO.

Despite threats of a quick reaction from Russia, Finland does not have to fear one.

The Russian military is engaged in heavy fighting in Ukraine and its ranks are decimated by heavy losses of soldiers and equipment.

Russia has already withdrawn its troops stationed on the Finnish border to send them to Ukraine.

Thus, Russia's threats are currently tied elsewhere.

A soldier takes part in a crisis management exercise of the Finnish International Standby Force (SKVJ) as part of NATO Evaluation Level 2 (NEL2).

© Heikki Saukkomaa/dpa

One of Russia's first reactions was to stop supplying Finland with energy from the state-owned company RAO Nordic.

Finland accepted this measure because Russian electricity accounts for only ten percent of Finnish consumption.

Russia could try to launch cyber attacks against Finnish infrastructure.

However, Finland has sophisticated systems capable of counteracting this.

"They don't have much to threaten us with," said retired Major General Pekka Toveri, a former head of Finland's intelligence service.

NATO membership: Sweden decides to apply for membership

+++ 15:13:

Sweden wants to officially become a NATO member.

The kingdom will apply to be included in the defense alliance.

That said Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Monday in Stockholm.

Previously, almost all parties in Parliament had expressed their support for an application for membership.

+++ 2:00 p.m .:

During the parliamentary debate in Sweden, a majority of the parties voted in favor of the country’s application for NATO membership.

There shouldn't be a vote.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson wanted to announce her decision on the NATO issue in the afternoon.

The ruling Social Democrats had already advocated an application to join the military alliance on Sunday.

"There is much in Sweden worth defending, and Sweden is best defended in NATO," Social Democrat Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said in parliament on Monday.

"We can finally become a member of NATO," said the head of the largest opposition party, Moderaterna, Ulf Kristersson.

The bourgeois party has long advocated Sweden's application for NATO membership.

A debate on the NATO membership application also took place in Finland on Monday.

There was still no end in sight in the afternoon.

However, a majority in Parliament for the application is considered safe.

NATO accession: Parliaments in Finland and Sweden begin deliberations

+++ 12.15 p.m .:

The parliaments in Finland and Sweden have started their deliberations on the planned NATO accession of the two countries.

"Our security environment has changed fundamentally," Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told MPs in Helsinki on Monday morning.

"The only country that threatens European security and is now openly waging aggressive war is Russia."

According to Parliament President Matti Vanhanen, 150 requests to speak were planned, so a vote is not expected on Monday.

Finland's application for membership had already been officially decided on Sunday.

Parliament's approval is considered a formality.

The Social Democrats led by Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson also voted in favor of an application for NATO membership on Sunday.

Andersson took part in the debate in Parliament in Stockholm on Monday.

Finland and Sweden join NATO: Russian state media threaten

+++ 11.30 a.m .:

The NATO accession of Finland and Sweden seems to be only a formality.

In Russia, the plans of the neighboring countries meanwhile trigger angry reactions.

Russian state media even threatened that more nuclear weapons could and will be transferred to Kaliningrad.

Kaliningrad is located in the Russian enclave in the Baltic States, between NATO member states Poland and Lithuania.

The reaction to Finland's and Sweden's plans to join NATO was particularly violent on the state-loyal broadcaster Russia One.

"If NATO bases are established in Sweden and Finland, Russia will have no choice but to neutralize the imbalance and the new threat of using tactical nuclear weapons," said a commentator on the TV channel.

NATO accession a “serious mistake”: Russia threatens Sweden and Finland with retaliation

+++ 10:00 a.m .:

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has described a possible NATO accession by Sweden and Finland as “another serious mistake with far-reaching consequences”.

This is reported by the Interfax news agency.

Sweden and Finland should have no illusions that Russia would accept their decision so easily, Ryabkov stressed.

NATO accession: Swedish Prime Minister campaigns for "broad support"

Update from Monday, May 16, 9 a.m.:

After decades of neutrality, the Swedish parliament will vote on joining NATO on Monday (May 16).

The ruling Social Democratic Party spoke out in favor of this on Sunday and paved the way for joining the military alliance.

A large majority is therefore expected in Parliament.

Large sections of the Swedish opposition have already signaled their approval of joining NATO.

"Tomorrow I will make sure that there will be broad support in parliament for a motion by Sweden and after that we will be able to make a government decision," Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said at a press conference on Sunday evening.

+++ 9.15 p.m .:

After the governments in Finland and Sweden have spoken out in favor of joining NATO, the decision is now up to the parliaments.

MPs in both countries are scheduled to meet on Monday (May 16) to debate NATO membership.

While approval in Finland is considered almost certain, Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced that she intends to campaign for accession in the Reichstag.

At a press conference, she also justified the decision in terms of security policy, as reported by the Aftonbladet newspaper.

With regard to the Ukraine war, she spoke of "dangerous and frightening times" in which Sweden had to rely on its "many friends".

"Historical" decision: Sweden's ruling party votes for NATO membership bid

+++ 6 p.m .:

With the support of NATO membership, the government of Sweden on Sunday (May 15) moved away from its long-standing position.

As in neighboring Finland, Russia's attack on Ukraine is the reason for the rethink.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde described the decision on Twitter as "historic".

Nevertheless, the government sets conditions for their accession.

The Social Democrats neither want to station nuclear weapons in Sweden nor accept permanent NATO bases on their territory.

The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports that the country's application for membership has already been completed.

Nevertheless, the government wants to wait until Monday or Tuesday to submit it together with Finland.

The president of the neighboring country had just announced that he wanted to submit an application and expressed his hope that Sweden would follow suit.

+++ 5.30 p.m .:

Sweden’s social democratic ruling party has voted for a NATO membership application.

In doing so, they pave the way for a possible entry into the military alliance.

This is reported by the AFP news agency

Update from Sunday, May 15, 3:15 p.m .:

Concerns come from Turkey that threaten Finland’s desired membership in NATO.

The member state criticized the Scandinavian country's political proximity to the Kurdish Workers' Party PKK, which is banned in Turkey, and the Kurdish militia YPG in Syria.

At a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, Turkey's representative, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said at the weekend that the Turkish population was calling for the accession to be blocked.

As early as Friday, May 13, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Scandinavian countries are downright “hostels for terrorist organizations.”

"Historical day": Finland decides to join NATO

Update from Sunday, May 15, 12:25 p.m .:

Now it is official.

Finland wants to become a member of NATO.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced in Helsinki that the country will submit an application to be included in the military alliance.

The Finnish parliament still has to approve the move, but a majority is considered safe.

Niinistö spoke several times on Sunday of a "historic day" for the Scandinavian country.

"A new era is beginning," said the President.

Finland has been non-aligned for decades and shares a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia.

Joining the military alliance was long considered unthinkable - after all, the Finns didn't want to alienate their big neighbor to the east.

But Moscow's war of aggression in Ukraine has led to a rethink among politicians and the population.

Finland's NATO accession is intended to strengthen control over the Baltic Sea - Russia fears a blockade

Update from Friday May 13, 1:57 p.m.:

Finland's upcoming entry into NATO will strengthen the alliance's control over the Baltic Sea - a strategic body of water in northern Europe that borders Russia - and strengthen the bloc's deterrence against Moscow, according to Nato- officials and military commanders.

"It will be a very positive step for the overall security around the Baltics," said Estonian Undersecretary for Defense Policy Tuuli Duneton at the press conference on the sidelines of the Lennart Meri conference, Newsweek reports.

"We think that we could make our military and defense cooperation even better than we have done so far."

NATO presence can thwart Russian control

An expanded NATO presence in the Baltic Sea would thwart Russian efforts to control and operate from the narrow Gulf of Finland, through which Russian ships must navigate to reach the important port of St. Petersburg.

Similarly, the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad would be surrounded by NATO eyes in all directions.

Nato membership would open "additional access to the Baltic Sea region".

Membership would provide "additional access to the Baltic Sea region," Colonel Andrus Merilo, the commander of Estonia's 1st Infantry Brigade in Tapa, told Newsweek at a briefing at the Tapa base.

"But I think the most important question is not when and how Finland and Sweden will join NATO, but why these nations decided to join NATO."

Finland's President Niinistö on joining NATO

+++ 9:52 p.m .:

According to the afp news agency, Finland’s President Niinistö said in the direction of Moscow about the criticism of her planned entry into NATO: “You caused it.

Look in the mirror.” Later he was more forgiving and promoted further cross-border cooperation in “practical matters”.

In neighboring Sweden, the decision on a possible NATO membership is to be announced on Sunday (May 15).

There too, as in Finland, the Ukraine war had led to a fundamental change in public opinion towards the previous military neutrality.

Russia: Finland joining NATO 'clear' threat - 'military-technical' response

+++ 5.40 p.m .:

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) assures Finland “the full support of the federal government” on the way to joining NATO.

In a phone call with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, Scholz welcomed the country's declaration of immediate accession to the western defense alliance, said the spokesman for the federal government, Steffen Hebestreit.

One of the topics discussed in the conversation was the security situation in Europe as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Finland wants to join NATO: Russia announces countermeasures

+++ 3:00 p.m .:

Russia sees Finland’s possible NATO membership as a threat.

"Another expansion of NATO will not make our continent more stable and secure," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfax agency.

According to Peskov, Russia will analyze the consequences of Finland joining NATO with a view to its own security.

Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin has already instructed to strengthen the security of Russia's western flank with a view to NATO activities.

"NATO is moving in our direction," said Peskow.

NATO promises Finland to join quickly

+++ 12.30 p.m .:

As the country’s political leadership announced today, Finland wants to apply for NATO membership “immediately” (see initial notification).

Accession to NATO could then take place very quickly.

"The accession process would run smoothly and quickly," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Finland is one of NATO's closest partners, a mature democracy, a member of the EU and a key factor when it comes to Euro-Atlantic security.

"They would be warmly welcomed into NATO," said Stoltenberg.

In a hurry to NATO: Finland is drawn to Brussels

First report from Thursday, May 12:

Helsinki - The Ukraine war has changed a lot.

For example, the debate in Finland and Sweden about joining NATO.

It is now a foregone conclusion that the two northern European countries will join the military alliance.

Today Finland took the first step.

President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin have spoken out in favor of their country joining NATO, which shares a border with Russia that is more than 1,300 kilometers long.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the two endorsed membership in the western military alliance.

"Finland must immediately apply for NATO membership," the statement said.

It is now expected that Finland will decide to apply for membership in the coming days.

Ultimately, the decision to join NATO is made jointly by the President and the government.

Denmark has already welcomed the position of Finland's political leadership in favor of rapid NATO accession.

"Denmark will of course warmly welcome Finland to NATO," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen wrote on Twitter.

Finnish accession would strengthen NATO and common security.

Finland on the way to NATO: accession in May?

Niinistö and Marin recently traveled to numerous NATO countries to talk, among other things, about security guarantees in a possible transitional period between the application and admission.

The USA, Germany and other NATO members have expressly stated that they want to support applications from the previous partner states Finland and Sweden, provided that the two Nordic countries decide to do so.

The applications of the two countries will be approved with certainty.

The date is still open.

One possible date is the planned NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June.

But it could also be before that.

"We will not wait for the Madrid summit if it is possible sooner," said a NATO representative.

During the year-long ratification process, the allies would provide an increased troop presence in the region, hold more military drills and maritime patrols in the Baltic Sea, and potentially send US and British forces to Finland and Sweden, it said.

To date, Finland and Sweden have been close partners of NATO.

Accession by the two states would massively change the balance of power in the region.

Russia has therefore announced "serious consequences" if it joins NATO.

(cs/vbu/na with AFP/dpa)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-05-16

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