Sweden to send delegation to overcome Turkey’s objections to NATO bid

Sweden to send delegation to overcome Turkey’s objections to NATO bid

Sweden to send delegation to overcome Turkey’s objections to NATO bid

Sweden will send diplomats to Turkey in an effort to eliminate the Turkish government’s objections to the Scandinavian country’s plan to join NATO, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said on May 16.

“We will send a group of diplomats to hold discussions and have a dialogue with Turkey so we can see how this can be resolved and what this is really about,” Hultqvist told public service broadcaster SVT.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde confirmed on May 15 day that the delegation would visit Turkey very soon.

Finland and Sweden have proposed to work with Turkey towards eliminating the Turkish government’s concerns regarding their NATO membership, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on May 15, stressing that they must provide guarantees on the issue of the YPG/PKK and lift export bans on Turkey.

The minister on May 14 held a tripartite meeting with his Swedish counterpart, Ann Linde, and his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, in Berlin on the sidelines of a NATO meeting, as Turkey voiced its objection to their membership bid to the alliance.

Elaborating on his meetings with the Swedish and Finnish counterparts, Çavuşoğlu said, “They said that they see the PKK as a terrorist organization and that their stance will continue. There was a suggestion that we should do a study to address your concerns on other issues as well.”

Çavuşoğlu applauded Finland’s conciliatory approach but criticized Sweden for “provocative” statements during talks in Berlin on the two countries joining NATO.

There was no constructive stance coming from Sweden’s foreign minister, he said and criticized the “negative” statements from Swedish officials. “The Finnish foreign minister is taking a more realistic stance,” Çavuşoğlu said.

The minister said he was waiting to see what guarantees would be offered by the two countries.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday the process for Finland and Sweden to join could be very quick. He also didn’t expect Turkey to hold up the process.

Less than three months after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the move is a stunning reversal of Finland’s policy on military non-alignment dating back more than 75 years.

Sweden has not been a member of a military alliance since the Napoleonic Wars.

The Kremlin insists the Nordic nations have nothing to fear, in apparent retaliation, has pulled the plug on electricity supplies to Finland, with which it shares a 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) border.

The decision of the Scandinavian countries to join the alliance is a serious mistake with far-reaching consequences, Russia said, warning that they should not assume that Moscow will not respond.

“The situation is, of course, changing radically in light of what is happening,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on May 16. “The fact that Finland and Sweden’s security will not be strengthened as a result of this is very clear to us.”

Ryabkov noted that the two Nordic nations “should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it,” warning that the move was “another grave mistake with far-reaching consequences” and that the “general level of military tension will increase.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also said on May 16 that Moscow would “follow very carefully what will be the consequences” of the Nordic nations’ move “for our security, which must be ensured in an absolutely unconditional manner.”

Sweden ends neutrality, joins Finland in seeking NATO berth

Sweden’s prime minister announced on May 16 that Sweden will join Finland in seeking NATO membership in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a historic shift that comes after more than 200 years of military nonalignment in the Nordic country.

The move, which is likely to upset the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin, came after neighboring Finland announced Sunday that it too would seek to join the 30-country military alliance.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson called it “a historic change in our country’s security policy” as she addressed lawmakers in the Swedish capital.