Turkey says it will ratify Finland’s NATO bid : NPR
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country will begin the process of ratifying Finland’s membership in NATO. The announcement ends a nearly 10-month wait for Finland to join the alliance as Erdogan delayed his decision on the matter.
“NATO will become stronger with Finland’s membership and will therefore, I believe, play an active role in maintaining global security and stability,” Erdogan said Friday at a joint press conference in Ankara with Finnish President Sauli Ninnistö.
In May 2022, Finnish and Swedish officials announced their intention to join the NATO alliance, a historic change for both countries. But the road to NATO membership has been long and looks even longer for Sweden, which is still waiting for Erdogan.
He has vowed not to sign Stockholm’s bid unless it fires more than 120 members of Kurdish militant groups. Turkey considers them terrorists and accuses Sweden of harboring them.
“We will continue our discussions with Sweden based on NATO principles and our approach to counterterrorism,” Erdogan said.
Finland, which shares an 810-mile border with Russia, has remained neutral for years. But since Russia invaded Ukraine, support for NATO membership inside the Scandinavian country has increased dramatically.
Rob Schmitz reported from Berlin. Fatma Tanis reported from Adana, Turkey.