Finland comments on the possibilities of joining NATO

The President acknowledged that there was no change in the issue but expressed satisfaction that his country is talking about blocking

Negotiations with Turkey on its objections to ’s and ’s offer to join are a step in themselves, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto told reporters on Tuesday. However, he acknowledged that there was no change in the issue.

“In fact, there was not much progress. But we must really be pleased that the discussion is now open,” the Finnish leader said during a joint press conference with Roberta Metsola, President of the .

Niinisto was referring to talks that Turkey held in on Monday with its nation and NATO-seeking Sweden. has blocked applications to join the US-led military bloc submitted by the two last month due to what they call the hosting of Kurdish terrorists and other suspects.

Turkish Deputy Sedat Onal said the talks were taking place in an “open and sincere atmosphere” and that it was up to Europeans to respond quickly to Turkish demands if they wanted to be accepted into NATO as soon as possible.

“We do not see ourselves limited by any timetable. The speed and scope of this process depends on the way and the speed of these nations to meet our expectations,” the official said.

Onal was referring to the forthcoming NATO summit in on 29-30 June. Before Turkey raised its objections, the meeting had been expected to formally approve Sweden’s and Finland’s applications. The ratification of each member of the alliance is required for the accession process to be completed.

Asked by a journalist if he thought his nation would be part of NATO in September, President Niinisto said it was still a possibility but acknowledged that expectations might not be realized.



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