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Politics

Greece Backs Finland, Sweden Joining NATO, But Faces Turkey’s Veto

ATHENS – Greece is “ready to welcome Sweden and Finland in the NATO family,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said, although the chances are remote after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated he would block it.

Greece has always had “excellent relations” with the two countries, Dendias said on arriving at an informal dinner of foreign ministers of NATO countries at Germany’s Foreign Ministry, said Kathimerini.

“I am looking forward to an especially interesting dinner. The main items will be Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and, something that has special importance for all NATO members, welcoming Sweden and Finland. We believe that they have a lot to contribute,” Dendias said.

For all that, Erdogan – who has repeatedly buffaloed NATO, which refused to intervene over Turkish violations of Greek airspace and waters – has the upper hand because a member of the alliance can veto another country joining.

Turkey also refused to go along with European Union sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine while selling drones to Ukraine to use against Russia and buying a Russian-made S-400 missile system that undermines NATO and could be used against Greece in a conflict.

After long remaining neutral, Sweden and Finland want to get into NATO to get its alleged protection under a mutual defense article but Russian President Vladimir Putin is rattling sabers over that prospect too.

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