Finland wants to join NATO alongside Sweden: PM Marin

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Finland still wants to join NATO together with Sweden despite Turkey’s objections to its neighbor’s membership bid, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Saturday.

“We have sent a very clear signal and a very clear message to Turkey and also to Hungary... that we want enter NATO together and this is in the interest of everyone,” Marin told the Munich Security Conference.

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“We want to join together with Sweden at the same time. It’s not only because we are good neighbors and partners, it’s also to do with very concrete matters -- the security planning of NATO,” she said.

Finland and Sweden dropped decades of military non-alignment and applied to join the US-led defense alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Turkey and Hungary remain the only members of the 30-nation alliance that have failed to ratify the two bids by parliamentary vote.

All 30 states must approve a new country’s membership.

Turkey has signaled it is ready to receive Finland into the alliance -- but not Sweden.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s main complaint has been with Sweden’s refusal to extradite dozens of suspects that Ankara links to outlawed Kurdish groups and a 2016 coup attempt.

During a visit to Turkey on Thursday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said it was time to ratify Sweden and Finland’s bids to join the alliance.

“I continue to believe that the time is now to ratify both Finland and Sweden,” Stoltenberg said.

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