Saturday, April 13

Turkey sows doubts about the possible entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO


A day after the political leaders of Finland enthusiastically support their country’s entry into NATO, Sweden has gone one step further to follow in the footsteps of its Finnish neighbours. The report commissioned by the Swedish Social Democratic Government to assess the consequences of the accession to Atlantic Alliance has concluded that the scandinavian country security will be reinforced, while reducing the risk to a new military conflict in Europe. These conclusions pave the way for Stockholm’s candidacy which, according to the local tabloid ‘Expressen’, will be formalized publicly next Monday. Which is not to say that his path is completely clear, as evidenced by the airy objections this friday for Turkey to the integration of both countries in the Alliance.

The Swedish press has been speculating for weeks about the position that the thirty NATO members to its potential candidacy, given that all of them must unanimously support the integration of new countries into the organization chart of the Alliance. Hungary, Turkey, Croatia Y Spain are the allies that generate the most unknowns, in the Spanish case, due to the criticism of Can NATO and the influence it could have on Pedro Sánchez’s final decision. So far, however, the only capital that has spoken out against the enlargement is Ankara. “We are following the development of events in Sweden and Finland, but we can not see [su adhesión a la OTAN] with good eyesTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Friday. reports Adrià Rocha Cutiller.

“NATO has already made a mistake by accepting Greece as a member in the past. Turkey does not want similar mistakes to be repeated. In addition, the Scandinavian countries are safe places for terrorist groups”, he added. Erdoğan in allusion to the militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish-Turkish guerrilla that has been fighting for the independence of Kurdistan for decades. The Turkish position is in any case far from final, since there are behind-the-scenes negotiations to avoid last-minute surprises among NATO members. It is also hard to believe that the United States and the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, have cheered on the intentions of the Swedes and Finns without having the slightest guarantee that the accession process will come to fruition.

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Internal debate of the Social Democratic Party

Everything will be known very soon. Finland is expected to be the first to announce its final decision this Sunday. That same day will end the internal debate in the Swedish Social Democratic Party, which governs the country alone and has historically opposed joining NATO. In Stockholm it is taken for granted that the formation of Olof Palme will change its position, a path paved by the government report presented this Friday. The analysis holds that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has “structurally and lastingly deteriorated the security climate in Europe”, without the current non-alignment policy The Swedish government ensures that the country receives the help it needs in the event of an attack.

“Sweden’s membership in NATO would increase the threshold for military conflicts and would therefore have a deterrent effect in northern Europe”, states the document, which stops short of explicitly recommending what decision the authorities should take. If it is not known on Sunday, the verdict will probably come on Monday, when the Swedish Parliament finishes dealing with the issue. Two days later, the Finnish president will arrive in Stockholm on a state visit, Sauli Niinistoa visit that could serve to formalize the simultaneous candidacy of both countries to join NATO.

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From then on, the most critical period of the entire process would begin, since it will take months for both countries to be protected by the Alliance’s military umbrella. Both Helsinki and Stockholm foresee Hybrid attacks by Russia while your accession has just been processed. For the time being, Moscow has announced that will cut off electricity supply to Finland starting Saturday.

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