The West increases pressure on Putin, including sanctions against famous girlfriend

But Sweden and Finland would need the unanimous support of the 30 NATO members to join. Mr. Erdogan may refuse Turkey’s approval to leverage issues he cares about, such as Turkey’s longstanding concerns about a guerrilla group known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which launched a violent separatist movement in Turkey in the early 1980s.

“Unfortunately, the Scandinavian countries are almost like pensions for terrorist organizations,” Erdogan said, naming the PKK.

Karen Donfried, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, told reporters in Washington on Friday that the United States was “working to clarify Turkey’s position.” You said US officials do not take for granted that Turkey opposes the NATO membership of Finland and Sweden.

“We respect political processes that are clandestine in both Finland and Sweden,” he said.

In Germany, agriculture ministers of the Group of 7, representing the richest democracies in the world, discussed ways to bypass Russian warships that prevented Ukrainian wheat from reaching global markets across the Black Sea. ‘Ukraine is the world’s fourth largest exporter of wheat and the blockade has threatened to exacerbate a global food crisis.

Cem Özdemir, the German agriculture minister, said the G7 will look for routes to transport Ukrainian wheat by road and rail, as well as across the Danube River. He called the blockade “part of Russia’s treacherous strategy of not only eliminating a competitor, which they will not be able to do, but it is also an economic war that Russia is waging.”