FT learned of Turkey’s blocking of negotiations on Sweden and Finland in NATO

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Ankara prevented the consideration of the applications of the two countries to join the alliance. Erdogan said earlier that Turkey will not approve the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO due to sanctions and the lack of a clear position towards the Kurds

Turkey blocked the start of negotiations in NATO on joining the North Atlantic Alliance of Finland and Sweden, according to the Financial Times, citing a source.

According to the newspaper, NATO ambassadors met on Wednesday, May 18, to discuss the applications for joining the bloc, which were submitted by Helsinki and Stockholm, but Ankara did not give negotiations begin.

NATO declined to comment on information about the blocking of negotiations and cited the statement of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that “it is necessary to take into account the security interests of all allies.” According to him, the alliance expects to “work through all the issues and come to a quick solution.”

The FT notes that the delay caused by Turkey's actions calls into question NATO's ability to conduct an accelerated procedure for approving the applications of the two countries, as previously promised in the alliance. According to the newspaper, “several weeks of diplomatic tensions” are expected. between the United States, Turkey, Finland and Sweden on this issue.

All 30 countries must ratify applications for membership in the alliance— members of the bloc, but this process can only begin after NATO issues an accession protocol and formally invites Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, the publication points out.

The Scandinavian countries filed formal applications to join NATO on May 18, they should be considered by the Council of the North Atlantic Alliance.

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Two days earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara could not support this decision, since Helsinki and Stockholm refused to extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and FETO, whom the Turkish authorities consider terrorists, do not expressed a clear position in relation to these organizations imposed sanctions against Ankara. He also advised Sweden and Finland to “not bother” attempts to negotiate with Turkey.

According to Bloomberg and the Sabah newspaper, Turkey put forward conditions in exchange for agreeing to admit Sweden and Finland to NATO. Among them— the recognition of the PKK as a terrorist organization in these countries, the return of Turkey to the training program for pilots of American F-35 fighters and the lifting of sanctions from it for the purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft complex from Russia.

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