Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Helsinki – (dpa)
After violent statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Finland indicated for the first time the possibility of joining the alliance without Sweden.
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told Finnish radio “Yele” today, Tuesday, that Finland may have to consider joining NATO without its ally Sweden.
He added that certainly with regard to the security of the two countries, the first option is still to move forward together.
He said, however, that a reassessment of the situation should be prepared if it became clear that Sweden’s application to join NATO would remain on hold for a long time. He explained that it was too early to take a position in this regard.
On Monday, Erdogan said that in light of the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran by an anti-Islam politician in Stockholm, Sweden cannot count on Turkey’s support for its membership in NATO.
“If you cannot show respect for the Turkish Republic or the religious beliefs of Muslims, then you cannot get support from us on joining NATO,” Erdogan said in Ankara.
Haavisto said that such protests represent a manipulation of the security of Finland and Sweden.