After President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Marin's Social Democrats in Finland also spoke out in favor of their country's NATO membership.

The party specifically positioned itself to join the defense alliance at an extraordinary governing body meeting on Saturday, the website said.

This marks another decisive step on the country's path to NATO: with the Social Democrats, a broad majority in the Finnish parliament is in favor of joining NATO.

Although the decision on such an application initially lies solely with Niinistö and Marin's government, parliamentary approval would be required before actual accession.

Niinistö and Marin expressly advocated membership in the military alliance in a joint statement on Thursday.

Marin reiterated this in an address to her party's delegates on Saturday.

Russia has shown that it does not respect international agreements, Marin said, according to the public broadcaster "Yle".

She added that there was only one conclusion to draw from this: it was time to join NATO.

It is expected that Finland may announce a decision on its NATO membership bid as early as Sunday.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey, regardless of its criticism of Finland and Sweden, is not closing the door on their NATO accession. But Turkey wants negotiations with both countries, the spokesman said.

Sweden in particular allows the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), which is banned in Turkey, to act.

This affects Turkey's national security interests.

Erdogan said on Friday that he could not agree to NATO membership for Sweden and Finland, for which Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, among others, had criticized him at the G-7 foreign ministers' meeting in Weissenhaus.

All NATO members would have to agree to Finland's admission, including Turkey.

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