Finnland set to join Nato?
Finnish President Niinistö has travelled to Turkey today, Friday. There President Erdoğan is expected to tell him that nothing more stands in the way of the ratification of Finland's application to join Nato. Hungary's Prime Minister Orbán, whose government has so far delayed ratification, met with Erdoğan in Turkey on Thursday to discuss the issue. Commentators are somber in their assessment.
Parting ways - temporarily
For both Finland and Sweden, Finland joining Nato first is better than if neither joins, Aamulehti argues:
“Finland and Sweden have repeatedly stated in public that they will join Nato hand in hand. In recent months, these assurances have become less and less frequent. ... It now seems likely that the paths of Finland and Sweden towards Nato will diverge, at least temporarily. And in this situation Finland can't wait for its neighbour. As Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has also said, Finland joining Nato at the earliest possible date will also improve Sweden's security position. However, it is important for Nordic security as a whole that Sweden should spend as little time as possible outside Nato.”
Nato's door must remain open
It would be scandalous if Finland and Sweden were unable to join Nato together, says Dagens Nyheter:
“That our countries belong together is not just some empty claim that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can change, but a geographical and security policy fact. ... Erdoğan's - and for that matter Viktor Orbán's - dishonesty is a scandal. This not only undermines the common security of the Nato member states but also puts the alliance's open door policy on the line. ... With their blockade, the Turkish and Hungarian leaders are also siding with Vladimir Putin's idea of a security order in which small countries are not allowed to make their own decisions. Nato cannot tolerate this in the long run.”