Finland’s foreign minister puts positive spin on Turkey’s NATO ratification remarks

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Comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that his country may ratify Finland’s bid to join NATO present a “positive sign,” the Nordic nation’s foreign minister said.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto chose to remain upbeat, saying that talk about ratifications “is a step forward,” even as Erdogan had warned Sweden would receive a different response and be delayed from gaining membership.

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“My understanding is that there is no fundamental obstacle to both countries becoming members,” Haavisto said.

Finland continues to seek entry together with Sweden and hopes to have the ratifications completed by the mid-July summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s leaders in Vilnius, Haavisto said, reiterating his previous remarks.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last May after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, banking on membership providing deterrence against any Russian attack. Turkey and Hungary are the only two of NATO’s 30 members that have yet to ratify their applications, which must be approved by all members.

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