Finland believes that it is still important to join NATO together with Sweden.

According to the Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto on a press conference.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto. Archive image.
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto. Archive image.

"Despite all the obstacles, Finland and Sweden's joint NATO journey continues and we want to continue joining NATO at the same time", he says.

Haavisto brings up the recent demonstrations against Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Stockholm that have upset the Turkish President.

"I believe that this is a delay in the NATO process."

Earlier on Tuesday, in an interview with Yle, Haavisto stated that it might be appropriate for Finland to consider moving forward alone in the NATO process.

One interpretation of the new statement at the press conference in Helsinki is that Finland wants to continue the joint process into NATO, at least until after the elections in Turkey in mid-May.

Haavisto also states that he spoke to NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, as said that NATO's priority continues to be that Sweden and Finland should be members simultaneously.

Erdogan's play yesterday came after the right-wing provocateur Rasmus Paludan burned a quran near Turkey's Embassy in Stockholm on Saturday.

Erdogan calls the Koran burning an insult to everyone, not least Muslims. He also criticizes Swedish authorities for allowing Kurdish groups to demonstrate with PKK flags.

"You allow terrorist organizations to run amok and then expect support to enter NATO. That will not happen, according to the news agency AP, Erdogan."

Facts: The tone from Turkey hardens

Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO countries that have not yet ratified the Swedish and Finnish applications.

While the tone from Turkey has hardened, Hungary has signaled that it is in favor of Sweden and Finland in NATO. An approval is expected in the Hungarian Parliament this spring.

Sweden and Finland last summer concluded an agreement with Turkey on a number of points that must be met in order for Turkey to give the green light to their NATO applications.

The agreement was signed on 28 June in Madrid. At the same time, Turkey released its veto against Sweden's and Finland's NATO membership.

As future NATO countries, Sweden and Finland are committed to supporting Turkey with regard to threats to its national security.

Sweden and Finland shall not provide support to the Kurdish YPG/PYD or the Gรผlen movement, and shall also unequivocally condemn all terrorist organizations carrying out attacks on Turkey.

Sweden and Finland will also treat ongoing and unsolved extradition requirements of persons like Turkey as terrorist suspects "quickly and carefully".

The countries also state in the agreement that there should be no arms embargoes between them.