Turkey to 'block' Sweden, Finland NATO membership
Ankara is not satisfied, and it has some conditions.
On Thursday, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed determination to block Sweden and Finland's application to enter NATO, calling Sweden a "complete terror haven."
The two countries will be abandoning their non-alignment policy as they bandwagon on NATO expansion. On Wednesday, the two countries submitted a joint application for NATO membership.
However, Erdogan is threatening to block the bid, stressing that Stockholm is "a complete terror focus, a complete terror haven," in a video broadcast on Thursday.
"We will continue this policy in a determined fashion and we told relevant parties that we will say 'no' to Finland and Sweden joining NATO," according to the Turkish leader.
In this context, Washington is "confident" that Ankara's fears will be overcome, according to one of Biden's top advisors on Wednesday.
"We're confident that at the end of the day Finland and Sweden" will enter NATO and "that Turkey's concerns can be addressed," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.
Turkey's demands to NATO revealed
Citing "three senior Turkish officials," Bloomberg revealed Turkey's demands for NATO and prospective members Finland and Sweden.
These demands include the removal of sanctions imposed on Ankara over its purchase of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, as well as re-inclusion in the F-35 advanced aircraft program.
Turkey, however, said it would not back Helsinki and Stockholm because they do not have “a clear unequivocal stance” against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front, groups that Ankara considers terrorist organizations.
1. Denouncing PKK and affiliates
According to Bloomberg, Turkish leadership demands that Sweden and Finland “publicly denounce not only the PKK, but also its affiliates before being allowed to join the bloc.”
2. Lift trade restrictions on Turkey
The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that his country also wants Sweden and Finland to lift trade restrictions imposed on Turkey. However, as Bloomberg sources revealed under the condition of anonymity, Turkey has a large wish list.
3. Re-included in the F-35 aircraft program
“Turkey wants to be re-included in the F-35 advanced aircraft program, from which it was barred after it bought S-400 missile-defense systems from Russia. It also has an outstanding request to the US to purchase dozens of F-16 warplanes and upgrade kits for its existing fleet,” Bloomberg writes.
4. US to ease sanctions on Turkey
Ankara also wants the United States to ease sanctions placed on it for purchasing S-400 weaponry. However, the agency's sources denied that Turkey's objections to Finland and Sweden's NATO membership were tied to Ankara's connections with Moscow.
Russia has cautioned Helsinki and Stockholm not to join the group and has guaranteed an appropriate response if they do.