Foreign minister: Turkey certain to approve Finland, Sweden NATO accession

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), Turkey is certain to approve Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO, and will do so within the next six months.

While Turkey is continuing to make more and more demands of Finland and Sweden, the Estonian foreign minister has no doubt that the former will ultimately still approve of the latter two's accession to the alliance.

"There are elections ahead in Estonia and elections ahead in Finland, but presidential and parliamentary elections are taking place [this summer] in Turkey as well," Reinsalu noted in an appearance on Vikerraadio's morning program on Monday. "And that context should be taken into account. I believe these decisions will be made a short time before or after Turkey's elections."

According to the minister, Estonia's interest is that this decision is made as quickly as possible. "Whether a decision will be made — of that I have no doubt."

He added that he was talking about a six-month timeframe. Nonetheless, he predicted that prior to a decision being made, we may see more statements issued that could raise tensions.

"That comes with the territory," he acknowledged. "But it is crucial for us that the Baltic Sea becomes a NATO sea," he added.

Reinsalu said that the Hungarian National Assembly is slated to discuss Finland and Sweden's pending accession to NATO in February as well, but added that Hungary will most likely make a decision before Turkey does.

The foreign minister also commented on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz' passivity in militarily supporting Ukraine in Russia's ongoing war against the latter. He recalled that Germany had started out with a promise to send Ukraine 5,000 helmets, but ten days ago it was announced that Germany and the U.S. will be sending Ukraine fighting vehicles.

"For Germany, the decision to provide offensive weapons has particular political weight," Reinsalu said. "But the paradigm must shift so that Ukraine would not just be capable of defending itself, but able to gain the upper hand. This would be the most humane, but also the most cost-effective. The war would end faster then too."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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