Turkey’s transition to Finland’s, Sweden’s NATO applications surprising
The issues that Finland, Sweden and Turkey agreed on in Madrid on Tuesday may need to be reviewed, according to senior researcher at the Finnish International Institute, Toni Alaranta.
Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Finland (FIIA), Toni Alarantatold Yle on Tuesday that he was surprised at how quickly Finland, Sweden and Turkey reached agreement on the two Nordic countries’ NATO applications.
The foreign ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed an official “memorandum of understanding” alongside the NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday, confirming Turkey’s support for welcoming the two Nordic countries to the alliance. The agreement was reached after four hours of negotiations.
Alaranta said that despite the president Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderssons cautious optimism about possible negotiation results on Monday, expectations were low.
The issues discussed on Tuesday may need to be reviewed, Alaranta said, especially if they leave much room for interpretation, noting that Turkey could very well invoke this ambiguity later.
The memorandum commits Sweden and Finland not to support certain entities that Turkey considers terrorist groups and to label the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a terrorist organization. Both Finland and Sweden also agreed to lift their arms embargoes against Turkey.
In addition, the document mentions the tightening of legislation on terrorist crimes that has already been implemented in Finland and the forthcoming new terrorism legislation in Sweden.
Niinistö told reporters that the solution was worked out in discussions between diplomats.
On the same day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Finland and Sweden would be invited to join the military alliance as early as Wednesday. Thereafter, each Member State would need to ratify the membership of the two countries separately.