Finland’s foreign minister signals country could join NATO without Sweden

BRUSSELS — Finland still hopes to join NATO alongside its neighbor Sweden but could be forced to reconsider if Stockholm’s application is held up, the Finnish foreign

minister said Tuesday. “We have to be ready to reevaluate the situation. Has something happened that would in the long run prevent Sweden’s application from progressing?”

the minister, Pekka Haavisto, told Finnish broadcaster YLE. A day earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that recent protests in Stockholm by an

anti-Islam activist and pro-Kurdish groups could jeopardize Sweden’s bid, and NATO diplomats and allies are growing less confident that the two countries will be welcomed swiftly.

Four maps explain how Sweden and Finland could alter NATO’s security Finland and Sweden requested to join the 30-member military alliance in the aftermath of Russia’s

full-scale invasion of Ukraine, formally submitting their applications together last spring and generally moving in lockstep. But their bid has been held up, primarily by

objections from Turkey, which blocked initial accession talks, then cut a deal so that matters could proceed, and is now once again threatening to derail — or at least

significantly delay — the process, undermining NATO unity amid Russia’s war on Ukraine. Hungary and Turkey are the only countries that still need to ratify the joint

bids. Hungary has signaled it will do so, but Turkey has not, dampening hope that the two countries would be welcomed to the next NATO summit in July as members.