Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Turkey to greenlight Sweden’s entry into NATO on Tuesday, saying that the northern European country was ready to join the alliance “from the start” and has done enough to address Turkey’s security interests. Blinken made the remarks alongside Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
Blinken said in Lulea, a northern Swedish city, that the US wants Sweden to join NATO as soon as possible. Sweden and Finland applied to join the alliance last year after Russia attacked Ukraine. NATO has a mutual defence agreement, which means all members have to protect each other. Finland became a NATO member last month, but Sweden is still waiting for all members to approve its entry.
Sweden’s entry into NATO is still blocked by Hungary and Turkey, but Turkey is the main obstacle. Turkey claims that Sweden shelters members of the PKK, which it labels as a “terrorist” group.