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Sweden is ready to “change” its anti-terrorism legislation to respond to complaints from Turkey, the only country to block Sweden’s entry into NATO.
Turkey opposed Sweden and Finland joining NATO last month, arguing that the two countries’ support for Kurdish rebels in the Middle East constitutes support for terrorist organizations.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed on Tuesday that Sweden “has already begun to amend its counter-terrorism legislation” and “will ensure that the legal framework for arms exports reflects its future status as a member of the NATO NATO with new commitments to its allies”.
“These are two important steps to address the concerns raised by Turkey,” Stoltenberg added. “The aim is to resolve these issues as soon as possible, so that we can welcome Finland and Sweden as full members as soon as possible.”
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Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO in May, a direct response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Both countries have traditionally remained neutral in European conflicts.
While Russia had previously warned against NATO expansion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the development in a statement last month.
“Finland and Sweden, as well as other neutral countries, have participated in NATO military exercises for many years,” Lavrov said at the time.
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“NATO takes their territory into account when planning military advances to the East. So in that sense there is probably not much difference. Let’s see how their territory is used in practice in the alliance of the North Atlantic,” he added.
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