Finland Floats Solo NATO Entry After Erdogan Rejects Sweden

[Shutterstock/Andrzej Rostek] (Fair Use)

Finland for the first time opened the door to potentially decoupling its NATO application from that of Sweden, after its neighbor encountered fresh resistance from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The path floated by Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, if it becomes more serious, would mark a significant shift in Finnish policy since the Nordic nations jointly applied to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in May. Faced with continued objections from Turkey — mostly to what it sees as inadequate crackdown on Kurds in Sweden — the two Nordic countries had up to now insisted their applications be considered together.

It’s still unclear how much Finland will shift its approach. The stance remains for the two countries to enter NATO simultaneously, given security considerations, Haavisto told reporters in Helsinki on Tuesday, softening comments from earlier in the day, when he’d said Finland may need to prepare going it alone.