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Can Turkey stop Finland, Sweden from joining NATO? Why it’s seeking ‘bargains’

NATO said Sweden and Finland would be “warmly welcomed” if the countries decided to apply for membership in the military alliance.Now, it appears at least one NATO nation doesn’t feel the same way.

As Finland, Sweden move to join NATO, Turkey says it will veto bid Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Monday that he would not approve Sweden and Finland’s NATO applications — an apparent roadblock in their quests to enter the alliance amid Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has shaken Europe’s security stance and prompted the two nations to ask for NATO entry.If Turkey follows through on its leader’s comments, what would it mean for Sweden, Finland and NATO? Here’s what we know so far.As Finland and Sweden inched closer to making a decision on NATO membership, Turkey hinted last week it would not view their applications positively, mainly citing those nations’ histories of hosting members of groups Turkey deems terrorists.In a news conference on Monday, Erdogan said his nation would not approve their bids to join NATO, labelling Sweden a “hatchery” for terrorist organizations and adding it had terrorists in its parliament.“How can we trust them?” he said.Turkey has said Sweden and Finland harbour people it claims are linked to groups it deems terrorists, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and followers of Fethullah Gulen, which Turkey accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber said on Monday that Sweden and Finland had not granted approval for the repatriation of 33 people that Turkey requested.Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Saturday that Sweden, just like the rest of the European Union, considered PKK a terrorist organization.Erdogan also

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