Finland regions

Finland and Sweden promise to join NATO together in United Front to Turkey

Finland and Sweden will join NATO at the same time, their prime ministers said on Friday, presenting a united front to Turkey which has raised questions about their two candidacies.

The Nordic neighbors applied to join the alliance in May in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but faced objections from Turkey, which accused them of harboring groups they deem terrorist.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Friday that Türkiye’s president told him he had more questions for Sweden than for his country. But she said she would not leave Sweden behind in the process.

“It is very important for us, of course, that Finland and Sweden join NATO hand in hand,” Marin told reporters at a joint press conference in Helsinki with his Swedish counterpart.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said as recently as October 6 that his country still opposes Sweden’s bid.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who took office last week, said: “We have taken every step, so far, hand in hand and none of us have any other ambition.”

He said he would meet Erdogan soon. “It is entirely legitimate for Turkey to get confirmation that Sweden is doing what it has pledged to do under the agreement,” he added.

Swedish daily Aftonbladet quoted sources on Friday as saying Türkiye had invited Kristersson to a bilateral meeting in Ankara, likely on November 8.

Kristersson’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.