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Turkish stance on expansion raises thorny issues for NATO (Opinion)

8th June 2022 - 10:00 GMT | by The Clarence in London

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Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO on 18 May. Pictured with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (centre) are Finnish Ambassador to NATO Klaus Korhonen (left) and Swedish Ambassador to NATO Axel Wernhoff (right). (Photo: NATO)

With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan putting national interests first in stating his objections, is there still a path for NATO to welcome two new members in Finland and Sweden?

In a matter of weeks, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the unintended achievement of accelerating progress on international security cooperation.

After decades of discussion, debate and gentle overtures which seemed unlikely to result in near-term change, Finland and Sweden have abandoned their previous policy positions and applied to join NATO.

This move has come as a delight to the alliance as it is keen to reduce the risks it faces in Scandinavia, but it also enraged Russia. It has the potential too to cause wider debate, and dissension that could yet be problematic for the long-term future

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