Turkey agreed on Tuesday to lift its objection to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, paving the way for the two Nordic countries to begin their application process at this week’s NATO summit in Madrid.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto released a statement that said that he and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Madrid that were facilitated by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
The three leaders signed a joint memorandum that said Turkey would support the Nordic nations’ NATO bid at the upcoming summit. Niinisto said the memorandum outlined that Turkey, Finland, and Sweden agreed to “extend their full support against threats to each other’s security.”
Turkey initially objected to Sweden and Finland’s application due to their alleged ties to the PKK, a Kurdish militant group the US, the EU, and Turkey consider a terrorist organization. Erdogan also wanted the Nordic nations to lift export controls on weapons they placed on Turkey in response to a Turkish assault on northeast Syria in 2019.
According to a leaked copy of the memorandum posted to Twitter by a Reuters reporter, Sweden and Finland agreed to lift the arms embargo on Turkey and said they would not provide support to the YPG in Syria, which is part of the Kurdish-led SDF, a group that receives support from the US.
Sweden and Finland also confirmed their belief that the PKK is a terrorist organization and vowed to take steps to “prevent the activities” of the group. They also said they would address Turkey’s requests for the extradition of suspected terrorists.
“Over the past weeks, Turkey has raised its concerns over the threat of terrorism,” Niinisto said in his statement. “Finland has constantly taken these concerns seriously. Finland condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. As a NATO member, Finland will commit fully to the counterterrorism documents and policies of NATO.”
The Nordic nations joining NATO could significantly escalate tensions with Moscow as Finland shares an over 800-mile border with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said that Moscow doesn’t view Sweden and Finland joining NATO as a “direct threat” but warned he will respond to the expansion of the alliance’s military infrastructure.
42 thoughts on “Turkey Lifts Objection to Sweden, Finland Joining NATO”
That didn’t take long.
Yup … the sultan got the best deal he could and he’s closing the deal. Purely transactional.
Aw, jeez. Don’t these nations’ SFB leaders realize what they’re getting themselves into?
Should Amerikkka find itself in an actual hot war (as opposed to a proxy one) against Russia, Finland especially will be a tempting and easily accessible target.
Russia has little reason to be overly concerned. It’s the citizens of Finland and Sweden who should be concerned.
In addition, My guess is that the Amerikkkan taxpayer will be heavily involved in this endeavor as well.
Oh well, I’m absolutely sure that Erdogan made out like a bandit on this deal.
Doubtless there were sweeteners all round.
Yep, from the world’s #1 Sugar Daddy 😉
I expect the Finns and the Swedes will do better against the Russians than the Ukr have done. They have way more modern weapons. Plus the Russian army has been trimmed down a good bit already, although the argument could be made that mostly only the stupidest soldiers and generals have been removed.
But why would they WANT to?
Wouldn’t you prefer to reside in a neutral country? I certainly would!
They don’t want to, but public opinion in both countries has swung rapidly and heavily from a neutral stance to pro NATO coincidently at the same time as the Russian attack on UKR. Some say because of the special military operation.
Well John, here’s the thing. Public opinion is frequently erroneous.
Remember when the Amerikkkan public believed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and overwhelmingly supported a war with Iraq?
I don’t believe these nations’ leaders should have been so quick to jump on the NATO bandwagon, knowing the possible consequences.
Oh well. Their problem, not mine.
cha-ching does it every time
The late P.J. O’Rourke wrote (anent the US Congress) of “A Parliament of Whores.” Make that (2022) an alliance (anent NATO) of them.
Very disappointing. It is not just Turkey. Surely there were NATO members who are not comfortable with this decision. One has to wonder what leverage US has to persuade them. I find it hard to believe they all want to gang up on Russia. The only thing admitting Sweden and Finland achieves is to Slap Russia. Meanwhile Russia will continue its SMO until it achieves its goals.
Same as Ukraine& Georgia and the Black Sea, strategically NATO would like to make the the Baltic a NATO lake. Kaliningrad is the last piece.
Congratulations to Putin. His attack on Ukraine produced two new members of NATO. The bully got bullied.
Sweden…now THERE’S a county to be a-feared of! 😂
And as I stated previously, Finland will /would be a convenient target.
It’s the Finnish and Swedish populations who should be afraid…very afraid.
I don’t know, Russia was super afraid of Ukraine joining NATO and its 300 Neo Nazis, hence the invasion.
Must have been for other profitable reasons then.
Russia isn’t “afraid”. It’s pissed because , as always, the Empire went back on its promises.
As they say fcuk around and find out. Saab Gripen, Archer 155mm artillery, NLAW, Bofors, Carl Gustav lots and lots of high quality weapons coming out of Sweden.
The Russians never had any intentions of f*cking with Sweden, John.
“Empire to expand NATO in response to war caused by NATO expansion”
And Vlad fell right into the trap, I thought he was supposed to be some kind of genius? He has a genius for swinging Finnish public opinion on NATO 50 points in 3 weeks.
It never takes long for a nation to betray the Kurds when doing so becomes convenient.
Finland and Sweden will come to regret this decision, NOT because it makes Russia “a threat” but because it comes with so much baggage; First, the inevitable demands for them to “increase spending” to 2%, then the demands for “joint training exercises” to be held on their territory, and then to spend money on “NATO compatible” weapons and equipment, and integrating their logistics and communications systems, and then being hectored into participating in “out of area” security operations.
Fortunately Afghanistan is shut down, but there’s always Libya, and Somalia, and God Knows What other flea bitten armpit of the globe the US will choose to blunder into, and expect its “allies” to “pull their weight”.
They were much better off as Independent and Neutral.
Fortunately for them, Switzerland and Austria have been smart enough to resist.
Switzerland and Austria could change their minds and join NATO if Biden tempts them. It would be a much bigger disaster than opening Pandora’s Box or Adam and Eve eating the Forbidden Fruit.
Good post, Javy, but to refer to third-world countries as “ flea-bitten armpits” is unfair.
Well, maybe; but if I was a Finnish or Swedish soldier and my country sent me out to risk my life in Mali or Somalia, that’s pretty much how I would describe it. The folks going on these deployments are not going to the tourist spots in those countries. A vacation in St Petersburg would, by comparison. look pretty good.
They enjoyed so much peace and prosperity being neutral. That’s all over now.
Is that all Erdogan got? Basically, Sweden / Finland said, ‘we will let you buy stuff from us (this works in Swed/Fin’s favor). That and a promise not to support the PKK. Erdogan must have gotten something more or we used coercion on him.
Bribery and blackmail are the main tools of America’s foreign policy. Putin had tipped off Erdogan of the U.S. backed coup that was about to take place to overthrow Erdogan years ago. Apparently Erdogan has no conscience when it comes to stabbing Putin in the back.
Mr. DeCamp: Turkey is now Türkiye…!
My father was Mediterranean and he always spelled it that way.
So Turkey is even freer to seize Syrian territory governed by the closest thing to anarcho-libertarians governing anything on Earth? I feel safer already.
Russia will need to reprogram their nuke targeting computers.
Absolutely, with Stockholm and Helsinki in the crosshairs!
That’s a good idea. The USA’s enemies and frenemies should create an internet system that is not part of the World Wide Web and do what it can to prevent the USA and its allies from hacking into the system.
I watched a History Channel video on Youtube the other day. I think it’s a fairly new video. It made me think. https://youtu.be/EtNqzGofn8U
Turkey is still the best hope Ukrainian civilians & G20 nations needing reasonably priced food have. Let’s fast forward to a negotiated settlement for Peace.
Turkey will regret this decision when they realize Finland and Sweden haven’t done a damn thing about their demands later this year…!
So much winning for Russia!
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