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Turkey threatens to block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he did not have a positive opinion on this plan for the two countries to join the Atlantic Alliance.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday expressed his hostility to the accession of Finland and the Sweden in NATO, at the risk of blocking the whole process which requires the unanimity of the members of the Atlantic Alliance. “We do not have a positive opinion”, declared Recep Tayyip Erdogan, explaining that he “does not want to see the same mistake made when Greece joined”.” We are currently following the developments concerning Sweden and Finland, but we do not have a positive opinion, because they have made a mistake in NATO concerning Greece before, against Turkey,” said the head of state after Friday prayers in Istanbul. “We don’t want to make a second mistake,” he insisted. Racip Tayyip Erdogan also criticized Stockholm and Helsinki for serving “as a hostel for PKK terrorists”, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, but also the European Union and the United States. Unanimous voting required for membership This declaration casts a chill over a process supported so far by most NATO members and by the Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, who said he was ready to welcome them “with open arms”. Once the decision has been taken by a third country to join, NATO members must indeed unanimously agreed to invite him to join them. Sweden and Finland simultaneously indicated that they wanted to continue discussing the situation with Turkey at the weekend meeting of foreign ministers of Turkey. NATO in Berlin. Swedish Minister Ann Linde told the A FP which “will have the opportunity to discuss” with its Turkish counterpart during this meeting, to which the Turkish Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed his participation. The Finnish candidacy formalized this Sunday Finland had expressed its confidence in Turkish support: after s To be discussed at the beginning of April on the subject with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinistö, had then estimated on Twitter that “Turkey supports the objectives of Finland”. The Finnish candidacy, defended by the President and the Prime Minister, must be formalized by the executive tandem this Sunday, after the meeting of a government council. And on Friday, an official Swedish report paved the way for the country’s accession to NATO, multiplying the favorable conclusions before the country’s decision Nordic and its Finnish neighbor in the coming days. Moscow had in advance denounced a decision which “certainly” would constitute a threat against Russia and would have “consequences es (…) for the European security architecture as a whole”. An attitude of “pro-Russian country” However, since the beginning of the crisis and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ankara has done everything to maintain good relations with the two belligerent countries, on which its economy depends closely and although it provides combat drones to kyiv. It even hosted talks between the two twice in March, in Antalya (south) then Istanbul. For Soner Cagaptay, an analyst at the Washington Institute, this attitude “risks making Turkey appear within NATO as a pro-Russian country, like Hungary in Europe.” “His reasons may be legitimate, but it risks damaging Ankara’s image within NATO,” he adds, judging that these objections “should have been negotiated behind closed doors”. Ukraine. According to the latest polls, half of the ten million or so Swedes are now in favor of joining the alliance, a share that rises to two-thirds if Finland also joins. And in Finland, which shares 1,300 kilometers of border with Russia , more than three quarters of the population of 5.5 million people want to join the NATO umbrella.

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