NATO pressures Turkey to open doors to Finland and Sweden


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The German foreign minister expressed his displeasure over Erdogan’s remarks, saying that all democracies should rejoice in a “strong” military alliance.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Berlin
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Berlin.John McDougallAFP
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Weekend of meetings on how to strengthen the position of the West in the face of the Russian threat in Europe. The meeting of foreign ministers of the union countries began in Berlin late in the evening, hours after the G-7 meeting ended in the German city of Vangels, located next to the Baltic Sea. otani, With the war in Ukraine and possible fast-track accession of Finland and Sweden to the Atlantic Alliance as central issues.

Ankara kept its terms after being dissatisfied with these additions. He did it through the mouth of President’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin Risp Tayip Erdogan: “We are not closing the door,” he warned, “but basically elevating the matter to the rank of national security issue“. In conversations with the Reuters agency, Kalin stressed that the greatest concern for Turkey with regard to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance lies with him Anti-Terrorism Fight. He considers both countries “home to many terrorist organizations”. This is not a minor issue, as joining new countries in NATO requires the consent of all member states.

Turkey does not want to slam the door, but wants to take advantage of the situation to assert some of its old claims. For the Turkish President’s adviser, the main objective is to undermine the PKK, a Kurdish-Turkish guerrilla that has been at war with the PKK for more than 40 years. turquoise, and which has, more recently, consolidated its power in a strip of northern and eastern Syria under the pretext of joining hands with the US and fighting Islamic State. “What needs to be done is clear: they have to stop allowing PKK media, activities, organizations, people and other forms of presence to exist in those countries,” Kalin stressed. “Membership in NATO is always a process. We will see how things go. But this is the first point to which we want to draw the attention of all allies and the Swedish authorities,” he said. “Of course we want to discuss, negotiate with Sweden.”

With the exception of a proportionately small part of Turkey’s population, which sympathizes with violent methods to achieve Kurdish autonomy, the majority reject the current state of war, regardless of their political or cultural claims. Among these are those who criticize Turkish military and political expansionism in Syria and Iraq at the cost of innocent lives, but also those who condemn the many bloody attacks by the PKK in Turkey.

Erdogan has repeatedly blamed Sweden, but also other European countries, for failing to act against the PKK or hosting talks between Ukraine in the war in Ukraine over the movement of cleric Fethullah Glenn, accused of a 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan. accused of. And the Russian representative is a sign that Ankara still has bridges built with Moscow.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock expressed her irritation at Erdogan’s comments, saying all democracies should be happy to have a “strong” military alliance and that she would support its accession “very, very much”.

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Foreign ministers of NATO countries arrived in the German capital yesterday and hosted an informal dinner with their counterparts from Finland and Sweden. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered an intense debate in both the countries. According to Stockholm, its foreign minister, Ann Linde, wants to have a meeting with her Turkish counterpart, Mevlat Cavusoglu, these days, to bring the situation together.

For his part, the Finnish President, Saulie Niinist, informed yesterday Vladimir Putin About his country’s imminent candidacy for NATO. The Russian president made it clear to his counterpart that “an end to the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake, as there is no threat to the security of Finland”.

Ninist and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced on Thursday that she was in favor of joining NATO “without delay” and expected Helsinki to make its bid official tomorrow. For Finland, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Moscow’s demand that NATO not expand justifies its decision.

Sweden is also preparing to present its candidacy soon after a meeting of the ruling Social Democratic Party. The country has also historically been aloof from military alliances, but with the current situation, Russia poses a very close threat to the Nordic country.

Russian retaliation

In retaliation for these candidates, Russia threatened military-technical measures. Finland, which shares a 1,300-km border and a bloody past with Russia, says it expects cyberattacks and breaches of its territory. The Kremlin’s first measures may have already arrived: today, Russia’s electricity exports to Finland were suspended.

Turkey’s relationship with NATO has gone through several ups and downs in recent years, with some partners even questioning the membership of one of its main member armies. Turkey’s decision to acquire Russian S-400 anti-aircraft batteries was added to the traditional tension between the Turks and the Greeks, surrounded by maritime disputes over the energy resources of the eastern Mediterranean.

This latest incident led to the US expelling Turkey from its most advanced fighter-bomber development program, the F-35. It is unknown whether one of the conditions Turkish, and possibly Swedish, will be able to access to these devices is to reach progress in Finnish accession.

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