Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been critical of Finland and Sweden joining NATO. “We are currently monitoring developments regarding Sweden and Finland, but we do not have a positive opinion on them,” Erdogan said on Friday. Scandinavian countries are almost “guesthouses for terrorist organizations” like the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK.

The admission of new members must be approved unanimously by the NATO member states. Turkey would thus have the opportunity to block the admission of Sweden and Finland.

Finland and neighboring Sweden are already close partners of NATO, but have not yet become official members. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has set in motion aspirations for the two Scandinavian countries to join.

The Finnish head of state spoke out in favor of an “immediate” application to the western defense alliance on Thursday. In neighboring Sweden, the decision to join NATO is to be announced on Sunday.