The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has cast doubt on Finnish and Swedish membership of Nato, saying he does not have a positive opinion of the two Nordic nations joining the military alliance after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
His remarks came as a Swedish parliamentary security review said membership would reduce the risk of conflict in northern Europe and a day after neighbouring Finland said it aimed to join the alliance.
Finland and Sweden, while both Nato partners, have long viewed membership as an unnecessary provocation of Russia, their powerful eastern neighbour. Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, however, has led to a radical rethink of their security policies.
Membership of Nato would require ratification by all existing members, and Erdoğan remarked to journalists after leaving Friday prayers in Istanbul that Turkey would not welcome either.
“We are currently following developments regarding Sweden and Finland, but we don’t feel positively about this,” he said.