Finland and Sweden: the wait for Nato accession
Finland and Sweden submitted their Nato membership applications in May and in the meantime 28 of the 30 Nato member states have ratified them. Turkey has so far refused to give its approval, citing concerns about Sweden in particular on the grounds that the country allegedly supports terrorist organisations. Hungary, too, has yet to ratify the applications. How can the issue be resolved?
Without Sweden if need be
Nato's security guarantees are more important for Finland than for Sweden, Lapin Kansa stresses:
“Finland and Sweden have set out together on the path to Nato, each partner assuring the other that they will not abandon them. But what if Finland has to choose between protection under Article 5 of the defence alliance on the one hand and remaining on Nato's doorstep where protection does not apply on the other? ... Although the two decided to apply for membership together that doesn't mean they have to arrive at their destination at the same time. For Finland the priority is to get security guarantees as quickly as possible, because they are more important for us than for Sweden, a fact the Swedes will also acknowledge.”
This can only be done together
Finland should not take steps to join Nato on its own, warns Turun Sanomat:
“Finland and Sweden assumed from the beginning that they would take the path towards membership of the defence alliance together. This is a question of mutual solidarity and realpolitik. If Finland were to join Nato before Sweden, a military vacuum would be created between the Nato countries Finland and Norway. This must not be allowed to happen because in a crisis situation the defence lines should be as deep as possible. A united Nordic region is also a key factor for security of supplies. Although there are no security guarantees yet, bilateral agreements with individual Nato countries will provide protection for the duration of the process.”
Is Orbán backing Erdoğan?
The Hungarian government should have already put the ratification of the two countries' Nato membership application on the parliamentary agenda, criticises Ágnes Vadai, member of parliament for the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) party, in Népszava:
“Perhaps it was Erdoğan who asked Orbán to do him a favour because he didn't want to be left alone in the tug of war with Finland and Sweden. In such cases, of course, it's best to have an EU member state as a partner. There's no need to go into details on how many deals these two politicians, who are so similar in their political habits, have struck with each other in recent years. Another small favour could further strengthen this friendship.”