- Sputnik International, 1920
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Swedish Prime Minister Says Finland Will Join NATO Earlier Than His Country

© AP Photo / Johanna GeronФлаги Финляндии, НАТО и Швеции во время церемонии в Брюсселе, Бельгия
Флаги Финляндии, НАТО и Швеции во время церемонии в Брюсселе, Бельгия - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Finland is expected to join NATO earlier than Sweden, given Turkiye's objections to Stockholm's membership in the alliance, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Saturday.

"Currently everything indicates that Finland will join [NATO] earlier than Sweden," Kristersson said at a conference of Sweden's Moderate Party, which he leads.

Finland and Sweden applied to become NATO members in May 2022, three months after Russia started its special military operation in Ukraine. Turkiye and Hungary are the only countries of the 30-member alliance that have not yet ratified Finland and Sweden's applications.
Budapest and Ankara have so far announced their readiness to ratify the Finnish application, but not the Swedish one. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in January that Stockholm should not count on Ankara's support for its NATO bid due to the recent Quran-burning protests in Sweden.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration after their bilateral meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on January 10, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2023
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The head of Hungary's ruling faction Fidesz, Mate Kocsis, said last week that his country's parliament would vote on Finland's membership in NATO on March 27. On Thursday, a member of the Turkish parliamentary commission on foreign policy issues from the Republican People's Party also told Sputnik that the Turkish parliament's general assembly would consider Finland's NATO membership protocol the following week.
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