Finland calls on Turkey and Hungary to approve NATO application

Russia 'should leave Ukraine' says Sanna Marin

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Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin called on Hungary and Turkey to approve her country and neighbouring Sweden’s bids to join NATO on Tuesday. The two nordic countries applied to join the military alliance in May as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Hungary and Turkey are the last two countries that need to approve the applications from Helsinki and Stockholm.

Speaking last week, Ms Marin insisted that Finland and Sweden would join NATO together.

Speaking at a press conference following a Nordic Council meeting in Helsinki on Tuesday Ms Marin insisted that both countries should be allowed to join “sooner than later.”

She said: “All eyes are now on Hungary and Turkey.

“We are waiting for these countries to ratify our applications.

“I think it would be important that this would happen preferably sooner than later.”

Turkey has accused Helsinki and Stockholm harboring what it claims are terrorist groups.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is demanding that Sweden and Finland extradite people Ankara considers terrorists, in exchange for supporting their NATO membership.

Sweden’s new government has vowed to met the Turkish demands.

So far however Ankara has remained unconvinced.

Omer Celik a spokesman for the ruling AK party said that Sweden had yet to meet Turkey’s demands.

He said: “These statements of Sweden are good, but not enough until they are implemented.

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“We are waiting for it to come to life.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to meet Mr Erdogan in Istanbul later this week where NATO expansion will be discussed.

Hungary on the other hand has pledged to ratify the two countries membership applications by mid December.

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