Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced on Wednesday that talks with Türkiye are continuing for his country to become a member of NATO, underlining the process depends on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Speaking to local television, Haavisto made evaluations about his country’s membership process.
Stating that Finland started to receive support from important members of NATO before the membership process was completed, Haavisto said, “Even though we are not a member of NATO yet, I believe that we will get help from our partners in case of a threat to Finland.”
Haavisto stated that negotiations with Türkiye and Hungary, which have not yet given the necessary approval for Finland to become a member of NATO, are continuing and that Finland’s application is being discussed in the Hungarian parliament.
Sharing the information that the “tripartite memorandum process” with Türkiye, which started in Sweden and Madrid in June, has been going well so far, Haavisto said: “There is a good atmosphere at the official level, but there is also the political side of the matter. The progress of the process depends on President Erdoğan and his views.”
Haavisto argued that Erdoğan evaluated the applications of Finland and Sweden separately, while on the other hand, it was very important for the two countries to join NATO at the same time.
In previous weeks, Finnish Primer Minister Sanna Marin said that she hopes her country’s NATO membership will be approved by Türkiye as soon as possible.
“We have always been consistent in our policies when it comes to Türkiye. We negotiated before the (NATO’s) Madrid Summit. Now we fulfill those agreements. I hope Türkiye approves our NATO membership as soon as possible,” Marin said.
The three countries reached a breakthrough agreement on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid in June, where Sweden and Finland agreed on a set of steps to be taken to address Türkiye’s concerns about the candidacies.
To date, 28 out of the 30 NATO member states have ratified the accession of Sweden and Finland. Only Hungary and Türkiye remain.
Stockholm and Helsinki, which both reversed decades of non-alignment when they applied for membership following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, had expected the application process to be quick, as they had received assurances they would be welcomed “with open arms.”
Even after Sweden and Finland were formally invited, Ankara insisted it could still block entry into the Western alliance if it feels the Nordic countries failed to deliver on their promises.
Sweden and Finland had imposed arms export embargoes on Türkiye after its military operation seeking to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates of the PKK and YPG in 2019. ISP revoked existing permits and granted no new ones since then though no formal embargo existed.