Wednesday

28th Feb 2024

Finland and Sweden to join Nato, as Erdoğan drops veto

  • Ratification due to take several months by national parliaments (Photo: Nato)
Listen to article

Turkey has agreed to let Finland and Sweden join Nato after a deal on Kurdish separatists and arms exports.

The foreign ministers of the three countries signed the joint memorandum on Nato accession at the alliance's summit in Madrid on Tuesday (28 June).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Finland and Sweden will not provide support to YPG/PYD [a Kurdish group] and the organisation described as FETÖ [an overseas-based Muslim group] in Türkiye," it said.

They will also "step up activity" in the fight against Kurdish group PKK, which the EU has designated a "terrorist" entity.

And they will "confirm that now there are no national arms embargoes in place" on weapons exports to Turkey, even though it might use them in ongoing fighting inside Syria.

Sweden confirmed it had altered its laws to criminalise more types of pro-Kurdish activism.

Both Nordic states even agreed to "address Türkiye's pending deportation and extradition requests" of Kurdish leaders, while noting this had to be done in line with European due process.

"Tomorrow [Wednesday] allied leaders will make a decision to invite Finland and Sweden to join Nato, to become Nato members. And following this summit, Finland and Sweden will become invitees", Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said while announcing the breakthrough at a meeting of the Turkish, Finnish, and Swedish leaders in Spain.

Invitees can attend almost all Nato meetings and take the floor, but have no decision-making powers.

They will be covered by Nato's Article V mutual defence clause after ratification of their membership by the 30 Nato allies — a process due to take several months.

"If you just look at the map, you understand that it will change the whole security situation in the Baltic region. With Finland and Sweden .... close to the Baltic, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia — it will really strengthen our presence in that part of the world," Stoltenberg added.

Russia had threatened dire consequences if Nato took in any more members prior to launching its invasion of Ukraine.

It subsequently toned down its rhetoric on Nordic enlargement, but Stoltenberg still pointed out the irorny of the developments.

"Well, this is a Finnish and Swedish decision," he said, underlining the fact that Russian president Vladimir Putin had no veto on neighbouring countries' paths.

"He wanted less Nato. Now president Putin is getting more Nato on his borders. So what he gets is the opposite of what he actually demanded," Stoltenberg said.

Sweden supports Ukraine's 'European choice'

Sweden has voiced support for Ukraine's "European choice" as diplomacy gathers pace ahead of an EU summit on its first-ever wartime enlargement decision.

Stakeholder

Report: Nordics needs to step up the pace to achieve climate neutrality

Nordic countries have a long way to go if they're to reach their climate neutrality goals. According to a brand-new report, strengthened Nordic co-operation can help accelerate the transition. Nordic environment ministers agree that the pace must be stepped up.

Supported by

Latest News

  1. Podcast: Hyperlocal meets supranational
  2. Von der Leyen appeals for 'new EU defence mindset'
  3. EU supply chain law fails, with 14 states failing to back it
  4. Joined-up EU defence procurement on the horizon?
  5. Macron on Western boots in Ukraine: What he really meant
  6. Amazon lobbyists banned from EU Parliament
  7. MEPs adopt new transparency rules for political ads
  8. EU nature restoration law approved after massive backlash

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us