Ukraine news live: Turkey ‘will not approve Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids’; Ukrainian fighters leave Azovstal steel plant in buses; ’10 civilians killed’ by Russian shelling in eastern city | World News



Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will not approve Finland and Sweden’s bid for NATO membership. 

In a news conference today, Mr Erdogan said Swedish and Finish delegations “should not tire themselves” by coming to Ankara to convince the country to approve their NATO application.

He went on to call Sweden a “hatchery” for terrorist organisations, adding it had terrorists in its parliament.

“Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organisation,” Mr Erdogan said. 

“How can we trust them?”

The Swedish foreign office said earlier that senior representatives of Sweden and Finland plan to travel to Turkey for talks to address Ankara’s objections.

Speaking about the planned visit, Mr Erdogan said: “They are coming to Turkey on Monday. Are they coming to convince us? Excuse me but they should not tire themselves.”

Turkish authorities say Sweden and Finland harbour people it says are linked to groups it deems terrorists, namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.


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