Turkey intends to allow Sweden to join NATO

Sweden, which has been looking forward to “joining the contract” for more than a year, has finally made important progress. On July 10, local time, Turkey gave the “green light” for Sweden to join NATO after meeting with NATO and Swedish leaders. Some foreign media quoted Turkish officials as saying that “guarantees on key issues” are the key reason for the change in Turkey’s attitude. According to foreign media analysis, Turkey and the EU have reached a key agreement. The EU agreed to speed up Turkey’s membership negotiations, and Sweden will also expand cooperation with Turkey on the issue of combating the PKK that Turkey is most concerned about.

According to a Reuters report on July 10, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference that day that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to submit the protocol on Sweden’s accession to NATO to the Turkish parliament as soon as possible, and to communicate with the parliament. Working closely together in an effort to secure ratification of the protocol. Stoltenberg called Turkey’s decision a “historic step” and said “all NATO allies” would become “stronger” as a result. He also said: “I won’t tell you the exact date, but this is a clear promise.” protocol.

The Russian Satellite News Agency reported on July 11 citing Turkish sources that it is currently impossible to give a specific deadline for the Turkish parliament to approve Sweden’s accession to the NATO protocol. However, Russian officials have not yet made a statement on the incident.

Turkey secured on key issues’

Shortly after the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Finland and Sweden joined hands to apply for NATO membership in May 2022. The abandonment of the long-standing policies of neutrality and non-alignment by the two countries has been described by Western media as “one of the most significant changes in the European security architecture in decades.” However, compared with Finland, which will successfully become NATO’s 31st member state in April 2023, Sweden’s “accession” road is full of difficulties, and it has encountered strong opposition from Turkey and Hungary within NATO. Among them, the Turkish side has a particularly tough attitude. It has repeatedly stated that unless Sweden stops supporting the “terrorist organization” that the Turkish side regards as the PKK, its attitude towards Sweden’s accession to NATO will not change.

Just on July 10, Erdogan publicly stated that if the EU opens its door to Turkey, Sweden can join NATO. This approach of linking Sweden’s “entry into the Treaty” with the restart of Turkey’s “entry into the EU” process was immediately opposed by German Chancellor Scholz, who said that these are two “independent processes” and should not be confused. However, after several hours of closed-door meetings, the long-standing deadlock ushered in a breakthrough, and Turkey’s attitude towards Sweden’s “accession” has undergone a huge change.

Bloomberg quoted a Turkish official as saying on July 11 that Erdogan received assurances on his “key demands.” According to the joint statement after the meeting of the leaders of NATO, Turkey and Sweden, Sweden will expand cooperation with Turkey on the issue of combating the PKK, lift restrictions on Turkey’s defense exports, and actively support Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union. At the same time, the EU also agreed to speed up Turkey’s membership negotiations, renew the customs union, and relax visas for Turkish citizens. European Council President Michel said after meeting with the leaders of Turkey and Switzerland that the EU will submit a report on the relationship between Turkey and Europe in order to “work in a strategic and forward-looking manner.”

Bloomberg reported that it is unclear to what extent US President Biden’s recent remarks about Turkey’s purchase of US F-16 fighter jets are “playful” have contributed to Erdogan’s turn on the Swedish issue. Previously, Biden revealed to Reuters at the end of May that when he called Erdogan, he hoped that Turkey would agree to Sweden’s “entry into the treaty”, and Erdogan hoped to buy F-16 fighter jets from the United States. “Let’s get this over with” to Erdogan’s proposal.

Sweden is very close to becoming NATO’s 32nd member

In addition to Turkey, Hungary’s opposition to Sweden’s “accession” has also recently loosened. According to a report by the Russian Satellite News Agency on July 5, Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto said that Hungary has been negotiating with Turkey on the issue of approving Sweden’s accession to NATO. If the negotiations between Turkey and Sweden reach progress, Hungary will not hinder Sweden’s accession to NATO. . And Stoltenberg said after Turkey’s turnaround, he expected Hungary to follow in Turkey’s footsteps as the country “expressed that it did not want to be the last country to not ratify (Sweden’s accession to NATO)”. Bloomberg reported that Sweden was “very close to becoming the 32nd NATO member”.

After NATO, Turkey and Sweden issued a joint statement, according to a Reuters report on July 10, Swedish Prime Minister Kristensson said in an interview that day: “Today is a good day for Sweden. NATO has taken a very important step.”

In a statement, Biden said the United States welcomed Turkey’s decision and “stands ready to work with President Erdogan and Turkey to strengthen defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic space,” adding that Sweden became the 32nd NATO member. expect.

Sweden’s neighbor Norway also welcomed the progress made in its accession process. Norwegian Prime Minister Steller said on Twitter that Sweden’s accession to NATO is a “historic event” for Sweden, Norway, Nordic countries and NATO. “The unification of Scandinavia will make NATO stronger and the region stronger.” Safety”.

So far, Russian officials have not commented on the matter. The Russian “Kommersant” called the matter “Turkey’s whim” in its report, and said that “the Turkish president decided to show Sweden and the world who is the boss of NATO.”

Pavel Seleznev, an associate professor at the Political Science Department of the Russian Federal Government Finance University, said in an interview with the Russian “Izvestia” on the 11th that although Turkey agreed with Sweden to join NATO, Erdogan did not meet all the demands of the West. Demands, such as opening the Black Sea to NATO fleets. He also analyzed that Erdogan likes to “bargain in a unique way”, and the fundamental purpose of his actions is to protect national interests and strengthen his personal power and status.

“After a difficult presidential election, Erdogan’s policies may mean a series of concessions to Western countries. In any case, it will be a matter of time before Turkey approves Sweden’s accession to NATO,” Seleznev said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *