Sweden, Finland push ahead with NATO bids as Turkey objects

Sweden and Finland want to join NATO, seeing a threat with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But Turkey's president issued a strongly worded objection.

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World News

May 17, 2022 - 3:32 PM

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, left, and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 13, 2022. (Paul Wennerholm/TT News Agency/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — 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.

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.

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