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Marin: Important for Finland, Sweden to join Nato together

Finland's Prime Minister responded to media questions about reports that Turkey may ratify Finland's Nato membership, but not Sweden's.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is in Prague to attend the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community as well as an EU summit. Image: European Union

Finland has no influence over the pace at which Nato countries ratify membership applications, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) told reporters in Prague on Friday.

"Nato member states are of course responsible for their own ratification processes. Of course, we will always emphasise how important it is to us that Finland and Sweden go hand in hand in becoming members of Nato," Marin said.

Marin made the comments as she answered media questions about her meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday.

"He relayed the same message he's delivered before. That is, there's no real problem with Finland. We're continuing discussions and waiting for Turkey to ratify Finland's Nato application," Marin said on Thursday after the bilateral meeting, adding that she expects Turkey will ratify Finland's Nato application as soon as possible.

Turkey has previously said it is opposed to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance due to concerns about the "harbouring of terrorists", but Erdoğan's latest comments suggest his country will not stand in the way of Finland's membership.

"Finland's and Turkey's relationship is very different from that of Turkey and Sweden. Finland is not a country where terrorists run free," Erdoğan said.

Marin went to Prague to attend Thursday's inaugural meeting of the European Political Community — a group of 44 nations facilitated by the EU but also includes 17 non-EU countries — and an EU summit on Friday.

Erdoğan also attended the European Political Community meeting and described his discussion with Marin as "good", but noted that Turkey remains opposed to Sweden joining Nato until their demands are met.

However, Marin stressed that it is in Finland's — and Europe's — best interests that the two Nordic nations join Nato at the same time.

"The security of the whole of northern Europe is at stake," she said.

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