Turkey Renews Threat to Block Sweden, Finland NATO Bids If Demands Aren’t Met

NATO advanced the Nordic nations' membership process on Tuesday

Turkey has reiterated that it will still block Sweden and Finland’s NATO memberships if they don’t fulfill obligations agreed to in a ten-point memorandum signed between the three nations.

“They have to comply with this document, if they don’t then we won’t allow them to join NATO,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday. Ankara lifted its objection to Sweden and Finland’s NATO applications after signing the memorandum at the NATO summit in Madrid last week.

Under the deal, Sweden and Finland agreed to respond to Turkey’s extradition requests, lift export controls on Turkey, and not support Kurdish militant groups, including the PKK. Ankara plans to ask Sweden for the extradition of 73 people, mostly suspected PKK members, but it’s not clear at this point if Stockholm will cooperate.

On Tuesday, NATO ambassadors representing all 30 members, including Turkey, signed documents known as the accession protocols for Sweden and Finland, which sends their memberships to be approved by each nation’s legislature.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said last week that the Nordic nations’ NATO bids could be blocked by Turkey’s parliament if they don’t follow the memorandum. “This business will not work if we don’t pass this in our parliament,” he said.

Even if Turkey’s parliament approves Finland and Sweden joining NATO, the process of having all 30 NATO member legislatures sign off is expected to take a few months. If the Nordic nations do enter the alliance, it will more than double NATO territory bordering Russia as Finland shares an over 800-mile border with Russia.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.