Finland and Sweden will hand in their NATO application Wednesday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Stockholm.
“Democracy has won,” Niinistö said.
“This whole spring has been a triumph for democracy in Finland” he said, referring to the overwhelming support Finland’s NATO application received in parliament today, and the support among the Finnish people.
“Sweden also looks forward to cooperating together with Turkey within NATO,” Andersson said.
Her comment addressed Turkish president’s prior statement on Monday that he would not approve Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership over sanctions on Turkey and further accused both countries of housing Kurdish “terrorist organizations.”
“We are looking forward to having a bilateral dialogue with Turkey, and we will of course also have bilateral dialogues with other NATO members during this process. And once we are in NATO, I see an opportunity to evolve our bilateral relationship even further,” Andersson said during the joint news conference.
Finland’s Niinistö said that he also remains “optimistic” on forthcoming discussions with Turkey and that with dialogue the “problem will be solved.”
The Finnish president reacted to Erdogan’s hostility, saying that it was “very surprising,” and that at the beginning of April his support was “very clear.”
“He looked favorable on the Finnish membership application process. Now there are different views,” Niinistö said.
“We have to discuss further. Our people stand ready to do almost anything to discuss with Turkish officials. We have both requested phone calls with Erdogan, and I remain optimistic,” he continued.
Niinistö also mentioned his upcoming trip alongside the Swedish prime minister to visit US President Joe Biden on Thursday.
“We are on our way to Washington, and there we will have a joint discussion with Biden, and surely many other discussions in the Senate and Congress,” Niinistö said.