of April 1949.
| Photo: EFE/EPA/VALDA KALNINA
Finland and Sweden forwarded the official request for entry into NATO this Wednesday (). Approval, however, depends on unanimous acceptance by the 30 countries that are part of the Alliance. In this, there is an obstacle: acceptance by Turkey.
The Turkish diplomacy chief Mevlüt Cavusoglu wants to prevent the two countries from entering the allies’ meeting. “There is a great need for security guarantees. They must stop supporting terrorist organizations”, opined Cavusoglu, referring to the protection of countries in relation to Kurdish militants.
The two Nordic countries are accused by Turkey of harboring members of the PKK, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, classified as a terrorist organization by Ankara. ), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said no it is possible to accept the proposed entry of the countries. “Supporting terrorism and asking for our support is a lack of consistency”, insisted the head of state.
He further urged the Alliance to show goodwill towards Turkey’s efforts to secure its borders. PKK fighters are mainly based in neighboring countries: Iraq, Syria and Iran. Erdogan continued, more forcefully: “None of our allies have ever respected these concerns.”
As a bargaining chip for signing the entry permit of new members, Turkey asked for an end to the embargo imposed by some member states on the export of Turkish arms. Today, Canada prevents the delivery of Turkish drones, alleging that they were used by the Azeris in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (Armenians and Azeris, with Turkish and Russian support, dispute a historic mountainous region; the conflict reached its height in the early 1990s 19 with the end of the Soviet Union and again suffered an escalation in the year in 2020).
Others 29 countries approve entry, especially the United States
During last weekend’s meeting between NATO members, the head of Luxembourg diplomacy, Jean Asselborn, stated: “If both want to join, none of the thirty can oppose”. Christian Democrats in the European Parliament, the German Markus Weber, criticized the Turkish opposition.
The United States has already declared its full support for the entry of Finland and Sweden and in NATO. In a statement published this Wednesday ( ), US President Joe Biden said he “warmly welcomes and strongly supports Finland’s and Sweden’s historic bids for NATO membership.”
The Democratic president received Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the White House this Thursday (). Biden said at the time that “the United States will work with both countries against security threats and to discourage any aggression.” He also assured that candidates for alliance membership can now count on US military protection.
NATO chief general Jens Stoltenberg agrees. “Finland and Sweden will be very well received”, said the Norwegian at a press conference at the end of April.
At the ceremony in Brussels for receiving NATO entry requests, this Wednesday (
), Stoltenberg left in the air the strong tendency for the approval of the countries in the Alliance. “Every nation has the right to choose its own path. Both made a choice after rigorous democratic processes. I warmly welcome Finland and Sweden’s requests to join NATO,” he said.
In fact, the Alliance was founded in the context of the bipolarity of the Cold War, in 1949, which involved the United States and the Soviet Union in ideological and political conflicts. The expansion of NATO is the reinforcement of the security of the North American country itself. And the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in an attempt to weaken the Western Alliance, was a shot in the foot.