Is Putin secretly controlling Hungary and Turkey? Nations proving thorn in Europe's side


Both the EU and NATO continue to press on with plans to tackle the rising Russian threat, with the Brussels bloc aiming at cutting out its reliance on Russia’s gas while NATO looks to formally approve two new memberships. President Vladimir Putin on Monday claimed Moscow had “no problems” with either Finland or Sweden joining NATO, but warned his nation would see it as a major threat if they started funnelling weapons into the military alliance. But two countries seem to be standing in the way of progress on the continent: Hungary and Turkey.

Turkey

Turkey has announced its opposition to Finland and Sweden’s NATO bids, saying it will not approve membership because the two nations had previously failed to respond positively to extradition requests.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “We will not say yes to those [countries] that apply sanctions to Turkey to join the security organisation NATO.

“They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”

Hungary

Elsewhere, Hungary has been accused of “holding the EU hostage” over its opposition to the bloc’s plans to ban Russian oil.

Lithuania’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said: “Unfortunately the whole union is being held hostage by one member state.” 



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