NATO requires that all members of the alliance agree to the admission of a new member.
An understanding has been worked out between Turkey and Finland over Ankara’s security concerns. The United States had been pressuring President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to concede but Erdogan held out, and he is still holding out on Sweden. Turkey is not the only country which has reservations on the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland. Hungary too has reservations. It too gave the nod only on March 27. And Budapest too is holding out on Sweden. NATO requires that all members of the alliance agree to the admission of a new member. NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg tweeted, “I welcome the vote of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to complete the ratification of Finland’s accession. This will make the whole NATO family stronger and safer.”
Turkey occupies a unique position. Though it is the member of the Western military alliance of NATO, it is one of the few NATO members which is close to Russia, and Erdogan has been mediating between Russia and Ukraine, through the United Nations, in working out a deal by which Ukraine has been enabled to export its grain and fertilisers from Black Sea ports. Though NATO has been in the forefront of the opposition to Russia in the Ukrainian war, it is not in a position to openly declare war against Russia because that would mean an open war between Russia and the West. NATO is forced to hold itself back from entering into hostilities against Russia. What triggered the Russian war against Ukraine is the issue of Ukraine being given membership of NATO. And NATO cannot afford to give membership to Ukraine because that would entail war between NATO and Russia, and all the 30 members of NATO, including Turkey, would be at war with Russia through treaty obligations. It is this delicate situation where NATO supports Ukraine but does not engage directly in a war with Russia that leaves Turkey enough elbow room to play the mediator’s role.
The expansion of NATO is seen as necessary to defend Europe against Russia, especially after the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and that is why the request for membership by Sweden and Finland is seen as a European security concern. Apparently, Turkey does not share the same apprehension. That is why, Ankara used the opportunity to pressure Finland and Sweden to pay attention to Turkey’s own security concerns. Analysts are likely to argue that members of NATO cannot use their partisan concerns, however, legitimate, to jeopardise the common security concerns of the military alliance.
The European fear of Russia on the security front might appear short-sighted and even obsessive, but it is indeed the European state of mind. Turkey, as a non-European member of NATO, will not overtly empathise with the European security concerns. Interestingly, even east European countries like Hungary do not see eye to eye with the western European countries’ obsession with Russia. That strengthens Turkey’s own position in the alliance. It is not the lone dissenter in NATO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops in Ukraine in what he said was a "special military operation" to rid the country of fascists. Ukraine and the West said Putin launched an unprovoked "imperial" land grab.
Last year, the Kremlin's all-out invasion of Ukraine upended Europe's security landscape and prompted Finland — and its neighbour Sweden — to drop decades of non-alignment.
A refusal by the United States to hand over to Turkey the F-35 fighters jets which it has bought would be “robbery,” media reports on Thursday cited President Tayyip Erdogan as saying in a dispute over
There was a huge sigh of relief when after weeks of anxious waiting, United States President Joe Biden and House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a compromise over debt ceiling and expenditure bill that Democrat Biden wanted to push through and Republican McCarthy wanted to smash. The deadlock threatened
The president America needs is, unfortunately, Czech, and the Constitution rules him out. He is also, sadly for the world, dead. Václav Havel, playwright and leader of those who opposed the Czechoslovakian communist regime — and went to prison for it several times — was elected the free nation’s first president after the 1989
This winter there were moments when I wasn’t sure I was going to make it back into my garden. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, would have time, would care. I wasn’t sure it would ever stop raining. After six of the warmest years ever recorded in California, after five years of record wildfires, amid the driest period in 1,200 years, this year’s
flydubai, one of the most trusted airlines in the world, celebrated the 14th anniversary of its launch. The great leadership of flydubai made the airlines successful, fascinating passengers to 120 destinations (“flydubai celebrates 14th anniversary of its launch with over 90m passengers to 120 destinations,” June 1, Gulf Today