‘Unmet expectations’ Turkey intends to continue blocking NATO membership
At the NATO summit at the end of June, aspiring members Sweden and Finland should have already participated as “invited parties”. That’s the plan. But nothing will come of it. Ankara wants to keep its veto and demands, among other things, commitments to cooperation in the defense industry.
In the dispute over the planned admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO, Turkey shows little hope of a quick abandonment of its blockade position. After a phone call between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Turkey’s Ministry of Communications announced that Ankara is demanding written commitments for a “paradigm shift” from both countries in the “fight against terrorism”. ” and for cooperation in the defense industry . Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said documents sent by Sweden and Finland were far from meeting Turkey’s expectations, according to state news agency Anadolu.
Sweden, in particular, had previously announced concessions. According to Stoltenberg on Monday, the country has already begun to change its anti-terror legislation. It is also intended to ensure that the legal framework for arms exports reflects Sweden’s future status as a member of NATO with new obligations to allies.
Sweden and Finland applied to join the defense alliance in mid-May. So far, however, Turkey has blocked the admissions process and justifies its position with Finland and Sweden’s alleged support for “terrorist organizations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK and the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG.
When the problem will be resolved, Stoltenberg could not say exactly. We are looking for ways to find a solution as quickly as possible. The original plan was to sign so-called accession protocols ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June. Sweden and Finland could then participate in the summit as “invited parties” and only ratification of the protocols would have remained before admission.