Skip to content

Finnish, Swedish PMs pledge that nations will join Nato together

At a joint press conference in Stockholm, Marin and Kristersson stressed that the two countries aim to join Nato by July.

Sanna Marin ja Ulf Kristersson.
Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson met with Finland's Sanna Marin (SDP) on Thursday at his official residence in Stockholm. Image: Anders Wiklund / AFP
Yle News

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) met on Thursday with her Swedish counterpart Ulf Kristersson in Stockholm, becoming the first prime minister to visit since he took office last October.

According to her office, their talks focused on the European economy, competitiveness and other topical EU matters, as well as security policy – but the private discussions were likely dominated by the two countries' paired Nato bids, which are stalled by Turkish opposition, particularly against Sweden.

In a joint press conference on Thursday afternoon, the two premiers stressed that they planned to move ahead calmly with the process despite recent setbacks.

Both said they still hoped to join the western military alliance before its Vilnius summit on 11-12 July.

"We clearly both tick all the boxes for Nato membership," said Marin. "Sweden is not a troublemaker, but is our trusted neighbour," she added.

Marin declined to speculate on how long Finland could wait for approval of Sweden's application if Finland's is ratified first, as Turkey has suggested.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) said that Finland is sticking to its plan to join Nato at the same time as Sweden, and hopes to do so no later than July.

Of Nato's 30 members, only Turkey and Hungary have yet to ratify the Nordic countries' membership applications. Hungary is expected to do so this month.

Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in Turkey in May and many analysts believe that it will be hard to make progress before that.

Sweden plans tougher terror legislation

Earlier on Thursday, Kristersson's government said it would tighten laws covering membership of terrorist organisations.

The Swedish PM said he believed this would help to resolve the stalemate over the application.

The move came months after an agreement with Turkey on fighting terrorism aimed at overcoming its objections to Swedish Nato membership.

The new law, which the government hopes will come into force in June, will give authorities much wider powers to detain and prosecute individuals who support terrorist organisations, either through financing or other means.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia