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Disagreement on NATO accession: Turkey threatens Finland with a blockade


++ NATO accession: Turkey's veto - criticism of Erdogan's "bazaar mentality"  Created: 05/18/2022Updated: 05/18/2022 07:23 By: Helena Gries, Lukas Zigo, Sonja Thomaser, Nadja Austel, Vincent Büssow, Christian Stör Sweden and Finland apply to join NATO. But Turkey has conditions. The news ticker. Veto from Ankara: Turkey opposes Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Finland and Sweden want to join N

++ NATO accession: Turkey's veto - criticism of Erdogan's "bazaar mentality" 

Created: 05/18/2022Updated: 05/18/2022 07:23

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

Sweden and Finland apply to join NATO.

But Turkey has conditions.

The news ticker.

  • Veto from Ankara:

    Turkey opposes Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

  • Finland and Sweden want to join NATO:

    The Ukraine conflict leads to a rethink.

    Russia warns and threatens "countermeasures".

  • NATO northern expansion:

    All news and developments relating to NATO in our new ticker.

Update from Wednesday, May 18, 7:15 a.m.:


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is critical of Sweden and Finland joining NATO and is threatening to veto it.

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn then accused Erdogan of haggling over their accession and described the Turkish President's veto threat as a "bazaar mentality".

In the ZDF morning magazine, Asselborn recalled bazaars in Turkey: "And sometimes the mentality, especially Erdogan's, is also shaped by it." Ankara could not accept the responsibility of denying Sweden and Finland membership, Asselborn continued .

According to Asselborn, Erdogan's negative attitude could have something to do with the fact that Turkey is hoping for concessions on arms deliveries.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, arrives for a ceremony at the Presidential Palace.

© Burhan Ozbilici/dpa

NATO accession: NATO Secretary General receives ambassadors from Sweden and Finland

+++ 9 p.m.:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet the ambassadors of Finland and Sweden on Wednesday (May 18, 2022), according to a NATO statement.

The meeting comes after both countries announced their intention to apply to join the defense alliance earlier this week.

NATO accession: Sweden and Finland "optimistic" about disagreements with Turkey

+++ 7.25 p.m .:

The Turkish veto threat overshadows the NATO commitment to quickly include Sweden and Finland.

Finnish President Niinistö said he was "optimistic" that the disagreements with Turkey could be resolved "through constructive talks".

Swedish Prime Minister Andersson said she was looking forward to "cooperation with Turkey within NATO".

NATO accession: Finland and Sweden want to submit applications on Wednesday

+++ 5 p.m.:

Against the background of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden want to submit their membership applications to NATO together on Wednesday (May 18).

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said this on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Finland's President Sauli Niinistö in Stockholm.

Even before joining NATO: Scholz assures Finland and Sweden of assistance 

+++ 4:00 p.m .:

Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to use his own words for a “very quick” NATO accession process for Sweden and Finland.

The federal government will implement the ratification immediately in coordination with the other constitutional bodies and invite other states to do the same, he said on Tuesday in Berlin.

He added that both countries' decision to join NATO was a reaction to Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the resulting dramatic change in the security situation in Europe.

NATO accession: Joe Biden invites Finland and Sweden

+++ 3.15 p.m .:

In view of a possible NATO accession by Sweden and Finland, US President Joe Biden wants to receive Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in the White House on Thursday.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre announced on Tuesday (May 17, 2022) that the meeting in the US capital Washington would discuss Sweden's and Finland's NATO bids.

Other topics are European security and the strengthening of close partnerships as well as support for Ukraine.

Sweden and Finland's NATO accession makes 'not a big difference' for Lavrov

+++ 3:00 p.m .:

For Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, NATO accession by Finland and Sweden would obviously not make a big difference.

Like other neutral states, the two countries have been taking part in NATO maneuvers for years, Lavrov said on Tuesday.

“NATO takes its territory into account when planning military advances to the east.

So in that sense, there probably isn't much of a difference.

Let's see how their territory is used in practice in the North Atlantic Alliance.”

NATO: All previous member states

  • Albania

  • Belgium

  • Bulgaria

  • Denmark

  • Germany

  • Estonia

  • France

  • Greece

  • Iceland

  • Italy

  • Canada

  • Croatia

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Montenegro

  • Netherlands

  • North Macedonia

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romanians

  • Slovakia

  • Spain

  • Czech Republic

  • Turkey

  • Hungary

  • USA

  • Great Britain

+++ 2.45 p.m .:

The Finnish parliament has approved an application for the country’s NATO membership.

In Helsinki, 188 MPs voted in favor of joining the military alliance, only eight voted against.

MEPs ended a two-day debate on Tuesday (May 17).

With the request, Finland is reacting to the changed security situation caused by the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

NATO accession: Finland's President on a state visit to Sweden

+++ 11.50 a.m .:

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö is invited by King Carl XVI of Sweden.

Gustaf arrived in Stockholm for a two-day state visit.

Against the background of the decisions of both countries to apply for NATO membership, the meeting will deal, among other things, with the common defense policy.

The Finnish head of state wants to speak to leading representatives of the royal family and the government.  

Finland and Sweden join NATO: Switzerland is also getting closer

Update from Tuesday, May 17, 9:15 a.m .:

The possible NATO accession of Finland and Sweden appears to have an impact as far as Switzerland.

The country, which is famous for its international neutrality, is apparently also approaching the defense alliance in the face of the Ukraine war.

According to the Head of Security Policy, Paelvi Pulli, the Defense Ministry in Bern is planning joint exercises with NATO.

This is reported by the Reuters news agency.

Finland and Sweden joining NATO: Great Britain is also in favour

+++ 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.

Finland and Sweden: Erdogan against joining NATO – “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."

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

NATO expansion: Turkey is against it

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.”

Finland's President Niinistö on joining NATO

+++ 9:52 p.m .:

According to the afp news agency, Finland’s President Niinistö commented on the criticism of her planned entry into NATO in the direction of Moscow: “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 boss 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.

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 official.

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 2022-05-18

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