Turkey has thwarted Nato’s initial decision to process Finland and Sweden’s request to join the military alliance, throwing into doubt hopes for the accession of the two Nordic countries.
Nato ambassadors met on Wednesday with the aim of opening accession talks on the same day that Finland and Sweden fulfilled their applications.
Still, Ankara’s opposition stopped any vote, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
The postponement raises doubt that Nato will be able to approve the first stage of Finland and Sweden’s application within one or two weeks, as secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg indicated.
It also sets the stage for several days of intense diplomacy between the US, Turkey, Finland and Sweden over the issue.
All 30 existing members of Nato must ratify Finland’s and Sweden’s applications, but that process can start only once the defence alliance issues an accession protocol and formally invites the two countries to join.