Finnish president: Bid to join NATO is in Turkey's hands
Finnish president Sauli Niinisto said on Friday that the fate of Finland's bid to join NATO is in "Turkey's hands," after the parliament in Finland recently agreed it would ratify NATO's founding treaties.
The parliament decided on Friday it would vote on 28 February to approve the necessary legislation to allow the country to become a member of NATO.
"It is an expression of our will. Turkey's stance towards our will is exclusively and only in Turkey's hands," Niinisto told reporters on the sidelines of the Munich security gathering.
The legislation that ratifies NATO's founding treaties in Finland is likely to be passed, as most members of parliament are in favor of joining the alliance.
Niinisto said Finland would go ahead with its membership without Sweden if Turkey decided to ratify the Finnish bid but not the Swedish one.
"We don't want to and also can't withdraw our application," Niinisto stated.
The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO should be approved by all NATO members, and Turkey set conditions last June in the context of a trilateral deal, while Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban said in November that the parliament is set to ratify NATO membership for the two Nordic countries in early 2023.
Ankara says it will give the green light provided that Sweden cracks down hard on Kurdish political activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and hands them over to Turkey, stops supporting Kurdish militia in Northern Syria and lifts arms embargoes imposed on Turkey after the latter's invasion of parts of Syria in 2019.