Stockholm and Helsinki were hoping for a quick process of joining the alliance, but this is blocked by Turkey, which accuses them of supporting Kurdish groups.

As Sweden and Finland continue talks with Turkey on Monday 20 June on their membership of NATO, hopes for a quick entry into the alliance seem to be getting further and further away.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to meet Turkish, Swedish and Finnish representatives in Brussels on Monday, hoping to break the deadlock before an alliance summit in Madrid next week. “I think it is possible but it would be very difficult, it would require both sides to show a real willingness to make some compromise,” said Paul Levin, director of the Institute of Turkish Studies at Stockholm University, in an interview with AFP.

Turkey calls for commitments
Before the surprise Turkish blockage last month, Stockholm and Helsinki – as well as Nato’s leadership in Brussels – were hoping for a quick process of joining the alliance, with the hope that the necessary unanimity of the current 30 members would be displayed at the Madrid meeting. But Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin acknowledged last week the risk of things being “frozen” if the dispute is not resolved by then. “If we don’t resolve these issues before Madrid, there is a risk that the situation will be frozen. We don’t know for how long, but it could take some time,” she said at a meeting of Nordic prime ministers.