Poland officially asks Berlin for approval for Leopard delivery

After drastic statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Sweden’s NATO membership, Finland is open for the first time to possibly joining the alliance without its Nordic partner. Finland may be forced to consider joining NATO without its longtime ally Sweden, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told Finnish broadcaster Yle on Tuesday.

Of course, with a view to the security of the two countries, moving forward together is still the absolute first option, Haavisto said. However, one must be ready to reassess the situation if it turns out that the Swedish NATO application is stuck in the long term. It is still too early to comment on this.

In view of the burning of the Koran by an Islamophobic provocateur in Stockholm, Erdogan said on Monday evening that Sweden could not count on Turkey’s support for joining NATO. “If you don’t show respect to the Turkish Republic or the religious beliefs of the Muslims, then you can’t get any support from us in the matter of NATO,” he said in Ankara. Haavisto said such protests play with the safety of Finland and Sweden.

NATO member Turkey has been blocking Sweden and Finland from joining NATO for months. Above all, she accuses Sweden of supporting “terrorist organizations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK and calls for the extradition of a number of people whom Ankara regards as terrorists. All 30 NATO members have to ratify the applications for membership, 28 have already done so – only Turkey and Hungary are still missing.

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