NATO: Sweden and Finland officially request membership

abroad military alliance

Sweden and Finland officially apply for NATO membership – Turkey speaks of contradiction

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To date, Sweden and Finland have pursued a policy of military non-alignment. In the morning, the two countries formally applied for NATO membership – a historic development that has been overshadowed by threats of a veto from Turkey.

Dhe German government has formally approved the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO. On Wednesday in Berlin, the cabinet approved the signing of protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of the two countries. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had already announced the day before that he would immediately implement the ratification in coordination with the other constitutional bodies. At the same time, he made it clear that Germany already felt an obligation to protect each other.

Sweden and Finland had officially applied for NATO membership in the morning. Ambassadors from both countries handed over the relevant documents to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels.

The reason for the desire of Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance are security problems that have arisen in the countries as a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Until then, the two states had resolutely pursued a policy of military non-alignment.

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The NATO Council will now process applications for membership. It is made up of representatives from the 30 states of the alliance, who must reach a consensus decision on how to proceed. Historic developments are overshadowed by veto threats from NATO member Turkey.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the approval contingent on his country’s approach to security issues. For Turkey, NATO enlargement goes hand in hand with respecting its sensibilities, Erdogan said Wednesday in a speech to his ruling conservative Islamist party, the AKP, in Ankara. Sweden and Finland wanted to continue supporting “terrorist organisations”, but at the same time Turkey’s approval for NATO membership, Erdogan criticized. “It’s a contradiction, to say the least.”

Erdogan: “I cannot say yes to make this security body dangerous”

Sweden has accused Erdogan of refusing to extradite 30 “terrorists”. “NATO is a security association, a security organization. In this regard, we cannot say yes to making this security body dangerous,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan describes supporters of the banned PKK, the Kurdish Workers’ Party, which is also considered a terrorist organization in the United States and Europe, as “terrorists”. Turkey also regards the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria as a terrorist organization – for the United States, on the other hand, the YPG in Syria is an ally.

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Diplomats say in addition to statements by the two northerners on the fight against terrorism, arms deals could also play a role. Ankara’s government, for example, wants to buy F-16 fighter jets from the United States – but a possible deal has recently been the subject of political controversy in Washington.

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