In exchange for approving Sweden’s NATO membership, Turkey has made some demands that the Nordic country cannot accept, Sweden’s prime minister said on Sunday.
“Turkey both confirms that we have done what we said we would do, but they also say that they want things that we cannot or do not want to give them,” Ulf Kristersson said on Sunday during a security conference, adding that Sweden’s NATO application is in Turkey’s hands.
When asked if he thinks that Turkey will ratify the Swedish application before the Turkish elections are over, he replied: “Impossible to know.”
“There are many factors that play a role here. Domestic political factors as well as Sweden’s ability to prove that we are serious about what we have said,” he said about the timing of Turkey’s approval.
The war in Ukraine forced Sweden and Finland to give up decades long policy of military nonalignment and apply to join the Atlantic Alliance. However, Turkey threatened to use its veto power against the applications unless the two Nordic countries take action against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and what Turkey sees as PKK-affiliated groups and approve the extradition of a long list of people Ankara categorises as terror suspects.
Kristersson on Sunday was also asked about the comments of the Foreign Minister Tobias Billström’s in a recent interview, which the Turkish media interpreted as Sweden banning PKK flags.
Kristersson said his government was introducing a new legislation on participation to terrorist groups but interpreting what participation actually meant would be left to the judiciary.