Listen to the news

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said he is ready to resume the suspended negotiations on the Nordic country's bid to join NATO as soon as Ankara is ready for it, reports Reuters.

"The first thing we have to do is calm the situation down. It's hard to have fruitful conversations when things around you are literally on fire," he said at a press conference during his visit to the Estonian capital.

According to Kristershon, the conditions for restarting the negotiations are good, but given the elections in Turkey in May, it is understandable that Ankara is focused on its domestic politics.

"As soon as they are ready to talk, we will obviously be ready too," he stressed.

In January, Turkish President Recep Erdogan hinted that Ankara might agree to Finland joining NATO before Sweden.

A day later, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made a similar request.

The process of approving Sweden's application is currently suspended.

The accession of both countries to NATO requires the approval of the relevant bill by the Turkish Parliament.

Last week, Erdogan said Sweden should not expect Turkey's support for its NATO membership after the protest outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm at the weekend, which included the burning of a copy of the Koran.

Erdogan ready to let Finland into NATO, but Sweden "not to bother"

Sweden and Finland applied last year to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after Russia invaded Ukraine, and now need the support of all current NATO nations to move their bid forward.

However, they have faced opposition from Turkey, which accuses them of supporting and harboring Kurdish fighters and other groups that Ankara considers terrorists.

Ankara subsequently withdrew its objection on the condition that the two Scandinavian countries comply with its demands.

Finland has previously hinted it may split its bid from Sweden after the breakdown in relations between Ankara and Stockholm.

However, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto later retracted this statement and instead stated that the position of a joint bid with Sweden would be maintained, yet specified that a split was possible if Sweden received a permanent refusal from Turkey to enter the bloc.