The Finnish parliament on Tuesday resoundingly endorsed the government’s decision to seek membership in a 188-8 vote. The foreign ministers of both countries signed formal application letters to be handed over jointly on Wednesday at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
Sweden and Finland on Tuesday pushed ahead with their bids to join NATO even as Turkey insisted it won’t let the previously nonaligned Nordic countries into the alliance because of their alleged support for Kurdish militants, AP reports.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strongly worded objections caught the two applicants and other NATO members off guard, complicating what was envisioned to be a swift expansion of the alliance in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Turkey’s statements have changed very quickly and hardened in recent days. But I am sure that we will resolve the situation with constructive talks,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said during a visit to Stockholm, the Swedish capital.
Niinisto said he spoke to Erdogan in early April “and it was crystal clear that he was supportive, and he said that the Finnish membership should be assessed favorably. Now it seems that there are different opinions. We must continue to discuss.”
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