Q: Turkish President [Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan said on 18 May that Ankara is not yet ready to support Sweden and Finland’s admission into NATO. One of Turkey’s main demands is for those countries to recognize the Kurdistan Workers’ Party as a terrorist organization. How does France view the Turkish authorities’ position regarding Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO? If Paris supports such a move by the Nordic countries, when do you think the differences can be overcome?
A: In his communiqué of 16 May, the French President welcomed, and reaffirmed France’s support for, Finland and Sweden’s decisions to apply for membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He recalled that those decisions result from democratic processes. The robust defence capabilities of those two EU Member States will strengthen the security and stability of the Baltic region, Europe as a whole and the Euro-Atlantic area.
On 18 May, Finland and Sweden presented their formal membership application. This application will be the focus of a decision by the Alliance’s 30 members. Discussions are under way to this end. We’re hoping for a positive and swift outcome to this process.