Finland, which applied for NATO membership last week, was waiting for quick talks, but Turkey has delayed things.
"Yes, that’s for sure. Previous NATO accession processes have taken at least four months and some well over a year. Time will tell" The old man said.
Turkey has provided Finland and Sweden with lists of requirements that must be met in order for Turkey to support the opening of accession negotiations with the two Nordic countries.
Turkish media reported on Friday that Turkish and Finnish leaders will hold talks on Saturday.
The old man said he did not know what kind of negotiations were planned or underway. He said that it was important that Finland became immediately aware of Turkey’s demands and that confrontation between Turkey and Finland was avoided.
"The situation on the Turkish side is unlikely to change until the debate. Then we will see how much of this is between Turkey and Sweden and how much within NATO." The old man said.
“Innocent people will not be extradited”
Among other things, Turkey has demanded the extradition of people it considers to be terrorists from Finland and Sweden to Turkey and the lifting of arms export restrictions.
"As for our rule of law, Turkey must realize that we cannot accept it [change them] politically. Innocents are not extradited to another country, especially if there is a risk that they will be imprisoned or sentenced without justification. With regard to the most practical issues, such as arms exports, we need to find out exactly what Turkey expects," he said.
Turkey’s rhetoric has been slightly harsher on Sweden than on Finland. Vanhanen emphasized that Finland would remain alongside Sweden, even if there was a situation where Turkey would accept Finland’s faster progress than Sweden.
"The bond between Finland and Sweden is strong. We certainly don’t break it; we do not abandon our partners," The old man added.
Vanhanen served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2010 and as Minister of Finance from mid-2020 until 2010. He has also been Minister of Defense and twice a presidential candidate.
Source: The Nordic Page