NATO member Turkey opposes the entry of Sweden and Finland
The Turkish president indicated that Turkey could use its NATO membership status to veto the two nations.
Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogansaid this Friday, 13th, that his country “is not in favor” of Finland and Sweden join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (nato). With that, he indicated that Turkey could use its status as a member of the military alliance to veto the two nations.
“We are carefully following the facts involving Sweden and Finland, but we do not have a favorable opinion,” Erdogan told reporters. He said Sweden and other Scandinavian countries would allegedly support Kurdish militants and others considered terrorists by Turkey. He also accused NATO ally Greece of using the alliance against Turkey, saying Ankara does not want to repeat that “mistake”.
Erdogan did not say clearly that he would block any attempt at access by the two Nordic countries, but NATO makes all decisions by consensus, so each of the 30 members would have potential veto power over new members.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has already said that if the two countries make a formal request, they would be welcome. Several NATO officials said the access procedure could take “a few weeks”, although it could take about six months for members to ratify the access protocol.
Sweden hints at NATO membership
Sweden signaled this Friday, the 13th, that it should follow Finland’s example and apply for NATO membership. Swedish government officials were in favor of joining the alliance, after presenting a strategic report to Parliament that indicates joining the bloc.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said joining NATO would help stabilize the country as well as benefit other nations around the Baltic Sea. “Sweden’s membership of NATO would raise the threshold for military conflict and therefore have a conflict-prevention effect in northern Europe,” Linde told reporters as he presented a security report to parliament.
According to the report prepared by the government and parties in Parliament, presented before the final decision on membership, Sweden’s accession to NATO would raise “the threshold (of outbreak) of military conflicts” and have a deterrent effect.
If the decision is confirmed after negotiations in Parliament, Sweden will break with almost 200 years of neutrality and military non-alignment, taking NATO’s side in the European geopolitical dispute. “Military non-alignment has served us well, but we are in a new situation now,” added Linde.
The report, entitled “Deteriorating Security Environment – Implications for Sweden”, concluded that “if Sweden and Finland were NATO members, all Nordic and Baltic countries would be covered by collective defense guarantees”.
“Current uncertainty about what form collective action would take if a security crisis or an armed attack occurred would diminish,” he added. The minister’s comments and presentation of the report come a day after Finland’s leaders pledged to apply for membership in the 30-nation alliance. (With international agencies)