Helsinki, Mar 3 (EFE).- Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez on Friday called on Turkey to agree to the accession of Finland and Sweden into Nato, which he hopes can be achieved before the alliance’s next summit in Lithuania in July.
Sánchez was addressing a press conference in Helsinki alongside Finnish prime minister, Sanna Marin, during a stop on a tour of Europe ahead of Spain’s EU Council presidency later this year.
“I hope that Turkey fulfills its commitments and allows these two democracies to be integrated before the summit in Lithuania and, together, we make a stronger Nato,” he said.
Turkey and Hungary are the only countries that have not yet ratified Finland and Sweden’s entry into Nato, and the Hungarian parliament began its ratification process on Wednesday.
Ankara, however, has insisted that it will block Sweden’s accession until demands over the extradition of Kurdish militants wanted in Turkey on terror charges are met.
Turkey also reacted angrily to a Danish-Swedish far-right politician who burned a copy of the Koran near the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital earlier this year.
Talks with the two Nordic candidates are due to resume on March 9.
Sánchez expressed Spain’s “admiration” for Finland for requesting Nato membership, which he said would see Helsinki aligning itself with the defense of “freedom, democracy and justice.”
“Nato does not exist against anyone,” he stressed, emphasizing that the alliance’s objective is to protect against “threats.”
Marin thanked Sanchez for Spain’s “unconditional” support for Finland’s accession and also hoped that it could be completed soon, after the Finnish parliament ratified the move this week.
Marin said the decision was justified and necessary given the change in the geopolitical landscape in Europe caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia must not succeed in its invasion and must be held accountable “for its illegal war,” the Finnish prime minister said.
She also defended the EU’s united response and called for continued support for Ukraine for as long as necessary.
Finland was Sánchez’s last stop on his European tour, which also included visits to Ireland and Denmark. EFE