Stockholm has indicated that it is willing to abandon its goal of synchronizing the connection with Finland
Sweden may be forced to abandon its plan to join NATO alongside Finland and instead become part of the military bloc at a later date, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has admitted. Sweden’s Prime Minister claimed that such a path would not constitute a failure.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Kristersson described his country’s potential entry into NATO separately from Finland as a “unfortunate” scenario, mainly a result of “Trkiye makes Turkish decisions.“But this way into the alliance”would not be a failure,” he added.
Kristersson’s comments came shortly after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted that “The main question is not whether Finland and Sweden are ratified together,“but”that they both be ratified as full members as soon as possible.“
Sweden and Finland submitted their official NATO applications in mid-May 2022, citing Russia’s offensive against Ukraine. Until recently, the bloc had advocated for both Nordic nations to be admitted at the same time.
Twenty-eight of NATO’s 30 member states gave the green light to immediate enlargement. However, Hungary and Trkiye refused to give their approval, halting the process indefinitely as unanimous consent of all nations in the alliance is required.
Although Budapest is expected to give the go-ahead in the coming weeks, Ankara’s complaints have yet to be fully addressed, particularly in Sweden’s case.
Turkey has accused the Scandinavian country of harboring terrorists, and relations were further strained last month when a far-right politician publicly burned a copy of the Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.
In late January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that his country “can react differently to Finland if necessary,“who could leave Sweden”shocked.“
Helsinki has publicly insisted on joining NATO alongside its neighbour. However, the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti has cited sources who say the authorities would be prepared to go it alone.
In a report on Monday, Iltalehti quoted a source as explaining that “we are Russia’s border neighbor,” with officials in Helsinki who believe that Sweden’s geopolitical situation is different and does not require such urgency.