Finland and Sweden submit their application for NATO membership
Finland and Sweden together submitted their application to join NATO to contribute to the security of northern Europe. Both the countries signed a formal request to join the thirty-member group of the countries by ending their status of non-alignment after World War -2.
During the formation of NATO, all the countries in the bloc have to first pass the agreement and then the application to join the bloc will be accepted. While most countries in the organization are welcoming this move of baltic countries, Turkey has opposed the step. Turkish President Erdogan is accusing the two countries of refusing to extradite terrorists which were wanted by the country.
Without the support of Turkey, these Nordic countries will find it hard to join the bloc. At a press conference, the Turkish President opposed the bids of the countries and called it a hatchery for terrorist organizations. He said “Neither of these countries has a clear, open attitude towards the terrorist organizations. How can we trust them?’’
The issue between Turkey and Baltic countries started in 2016 in a coup attempt orchestrated by followers of Fethullah Gulen’s terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers Party who got then harbored in these countries as alleged by President Erdogan. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto expressed surprise and interest in the allegation put forth by Erdogan. Niinisto said “Turkey’s statement has changed and toughened very quickly in recent days, but I am sure that we will resolve the situation with the help of constructive talks.’’
At the same time, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price affirmed that Turkey will support the move and said “Ankara would not block their entrance into the alliance.” On May 19, US President Joe Biden will host a meeting with both Niinisto and Andersson to discuss the application and broader issue of European security.