Turkey Backs Down, Allows Finland and Sweden to Join NATO

A deadlock that threatened to overshadow a leaders’ meeting beginning in Madrid, amid Europe’s biggest security emergency in decades, brought on by the war in Ukraine, was resolved on Tuesday.

Turkey decided to drop its block to Sweden and Finland entering NATO.

What Happened?

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg declared “we now have an accord that opens the path for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.”

Putin’s incursion on Ukraine had a number of terrible effects, but among them is that it led Sweden and Finland to renounce their long-held non-alignment status and submit applications to join NATO.

This was in order to defend themselves against an increasingly assertive and unexpected Russia, which Finland shares a land boundary with.

According to NATO treaties, an assault on one member would be seen as an attack against everyone; the whole alliance would launch a retaliatory strike.

 

On Tuesday, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö announced the leaders signed a common accord to end the impasse, following days and weeks of negotiation.

In addition to receiving “complete assistance” in the war against the rebel groups, Turkey claimed to have “received what it desired.”

On Wednesday, the 30 member nations of the union will officially request the two countries to join, according to Stoltenberg.

The agreement still has to be approved by each individual country, but he expressed his “100% confidence” that Finland and Sweden will join, which may happen in the next few months.

The deal is beneficial to both Finland and Sweden, according to Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, and it benefits NATO.

Fast Tracking Membership

The quicker the membership procedure is finished, she said, the better.

The Nordic countries agreed to take action against groups that Turkey views as risks to global defense, such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Organization, or PKK, and its Syrian affiliate, according to Turkey.

They also agreed, according to the statement, to take “concrete efforts on the repatriation of terrorist convicts” and “not to apply embargo limitations in the sector of military industry” on Turkey.

Following Turkey’s military invasion into northeast Syria in 2019, Finland and Sweden put through new gun control orders that have since been lifted in response to Turkish demands.

In response, Turkey pledged “to accept the offer of Finland and Sweden to join NATO at the 2022 Madrid Conference.”

 

Joe Biden commended the three countries for taking a “critical step.”

A senior government official denied that Washington made any compromises to Turkey in an effort to persuade it to accept a compromise, despite the suspicion that the United States played a part in breaking the impasse.

However, the person said the United States was key in bringing the two sides together. Biden called Erdogan on Tuesday evening at Sweden and Finland’s request to help facilitate the negotiations.

Recent