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Turkey announces new NATO summit with Finland and Sweden

The summit with the participation of the first persons of Turkey, NATO, Sweden and Finland will take place on June 28. Ankara will push for amendments to Finnish and Swedish laws to fight “PKK terrorists,” Erdogan's spokesman clarified

Turkey will hold a new round of negotiations with Finland and Sweden on NATO membership before alliance summit in Madrid, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Haberturk TV channel.

“On Tuesday [June 28], at the request of NATO Secretary General [Jens Stoltenberg], a summit of Turkey, NATO, Sweden and Finland will be held with the participation of our President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan]. It will be a summit before the NATO summit, — said Kalyn.

At the same time, according to the representative of Erdogan, Turkey's participation in the summit does not mean that it will “retreat from its positions.” He recalled the need to amend Finnish and Swedish laws to combat “PKK terrorists”; (The Kurdistan Workers Party— has been designated a terrorist movement in Turkey.)

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO on May 18, explaining their decision by changes in the security sphere after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Stockholm and Helsinki stressed that such a move is not directed against Moscow. To join NATO, applications from Sweden and Finland must be considered and approved by all 30 countries — alliance members.

Turkey refuses to support the applications of Sweden and Finland to join NATO and demands that these countries extradite members of the PKK to Ankara, close all organizations associated with structures that Turkey considers terrorist, and provide the Turkish side with appropriate guarantees.

On May 25, Turkish, Finnish and Swedish representatives held talks in Ankara. After that, sources told Reuters that the meeting was not easy, and its participants made “little progress”; and did not achieve clear results. The Turkish President said at the time that he was not satisfied with the outcome of the talks.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called Turkey's fears about supporting terrorism legitimate. According to him, the bloc continues to maintain close contacts with all parties in order to settle relations with Ankara and make progress on the applications of Sweden and Finland as soon as possible.

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In turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the intention of Sweden and Finland to join in NATO could exacerbate “an already difficult international security environment.” NATO expansion at the expense of these countries will not create an “immediate threat”; for Russia, but Moscow will respond if additional military infrastructure appears on their territories, Putin emphasized.

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