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Turkey blocked beginning of NATO talks on accession of Finland, Sweden — report

According to the media, the Turkish side made it clear that it cannot approve the beginning of the talks at this moment

BERLIN, May 18. /TASS/. Turkish authorities blocked the beginning of discussions in NATO regarding the accession of Finland and Sweden to the alliance, DPA reported Wednesday citing its sources in the Organization.

According to the report, NATO planned to discuss the accession applications, filed by envoys of Finland and Sweden, which would have marked the beginning of the process of their accession; however, due to Ankara’s position, the talks failed to begin. The Turkish side made it clear that it cannot approve their beginning at this moment, DPA report says.

On Wednesday, envoys of Finland and Sweden to NATO, Klaus Korhonen and Axel Wernhoff, officially presented NATO Secretary General with applications for accession to NATO. Speaking at the May 16 CSTO summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned about Moscow's response to expansion of NATO infrastructure to the territory of Finland and Sweden. At the same time, the Russian leader noted that the expansion of NATO via Finland and Sweden does not pose direct threat to Russia, because Moscow has no problems with these states.

During the phone call with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto Saturday, Putin called Finland’s rejection of neutrality a mistake, because there are no threats to Finland’s security, and warned Niinisto about Russia’s response measures.