MAY 19, 2022
- Turkey’s president said he told allies that he will block Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bid.
- The two countries can’t join unless current members, including Turkey, all agree to it.
- Turkey has hinted it wants concessions in exchange for letting them join.
Turkey’s president said he will block Sweden and Finland’s bids to become NATO members, complicating a major shift in European geopolitics prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday shared a video of an interview that he did on Wednesday on his Twitter account.
He said, according to a translation by Reuters: “We will continue our policy in a determined way. We have told allies that we will say no to Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership.”
Erdogan had previously suggested that he would block the bids of the two countries to join NATO. As a NATO member, Turkey has the power to veto any new countries joining.
Insider’s John Haltiwanger previously reported that Erdogan hinted that he is looking for concessions, after which he would allow Sweden and Finland to join.
Turkey wants Finland and Sweden to extradite suspected Kurdish militants, and for other NATO members to end limits on weapons sales which Turkey objects to.
Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO this week. It could take weeks or months for them to become members.