Turkey ratifies Finland's bid to join NATO

Turkey ratifies Finland's bid to join NATO
A+ A-
Turkey is still holding off approving the NATO membership bid of Sweden, as Ankara says Stockholm is yet to fulfill conditions.

Turkey's Grand National Assembly approved a bill on Thursday to allow Finland to join NATO, clearing the way for Helsinki to join the Western defense alliance.

The Turkish parliament was the last among the 30 members of the alliance to ratify Finland's membership after Hungary's legislature approved a similar bill on Monday this week.

Turkey is still holding off approving the NATO membership bid of Sweden, however, as Ankara says its conditions for a green light has not been fulfilled yet.

The conditions were set in the context of a trilateral deal between Turkey, Finland and Sweden in June 2022, and Ankara says it will agree to ratify Sweden's accession provided that it cracks down harder on Kurdish political activists allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), stops providing support for Kurdish militia in Northern Syria, and lifts arms embargoes imposed on Turkey after its occupation of parts of Syria in 2019.

A vote on Sweden's bid has not yet been scheduled in Hungary either.

"In the case of Sweden, there is an ample amount of grievances that need to be addressed before the country's admission is ratified," the Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs recently said.

Swedish representatives "have been repeatedly keen to bash Hungary through diplomatic means, using their political influence to harm Hungarian interests", he said, referring to Swedish criticism over the erosion of rule of law by Hungarian government in the past 13 years.

"Adding Ankara's woes and grievances to the mix does not leave much room to manoeuvre, at least not until the Swedes start changing their tune and help these lingering wounds heal," he stressed.