Sweden and Finland are facing opposition to their Nato application bid from Turkey, who called them a “hatchery” for terrorist cells.
Ankara’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to block their fast-tracked ascension to the military alliance, because of the Scandinavian countries’ willingness to host his opponents.
For Stockholm and Helsinki to be added to NATO, which they applied for amid the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, all 30 nations in the alliance would need to approve it.
Turkey has however suggested it would block it, because Sweden and Finland previously hosted Kurdish leaders, which Ankara considers terrorists.
“Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organisation. How can we trust them?” he said, describing Sweden as a “hatchery” for terror cells, the Telegraph reported.
Turkey’s president also said allowing the accession of Greece to the alliance was a mistake. Finland’s foreign minister said the state was not interested in “bargaining” with Erdogan.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited both Sweden and Finland in recent weeks to sign defence alliances against Russia.