Turkey for a long time has been known as a nation that eyes its profit first and then talks about the issue. Recently, Turkey has been making the news as it is blocking NATO’s membership of Sweden and Finland.
The two countries are crucial in NATO’s campaign against Russia. After a country decides to seek for NATO membership, the alliance’s 30 members must unanimously agree to offer a formal invitation, which is followed by membership negotiations. Given Turkey’s stance, however, the entry of two Nordic countries appears to be problematic.
All this while, efforts were made to force Turkey to change its stance. But, when nothing worked out, Stoltenberg has finally decided to bow down to the wannabe ‘khalifa’.
NATO surrenders to Turkey
The main area of contention between Turkey and the Nordic countries is the Kurdish Militant Movement. Turkey’s President explained his opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO by citing their support for Kurdish insurgency, which Turkey views as a security danger.
You see, the NATO partners have used every technique in the book to persuade Erdogan up to this point. However, after all other efforts failed, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg looks to have caved into Turkish demands.
During a visit to Finland, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Turkey’s security concerns about Finland and Sweden joining NATO are legitimate. “These are legitimate concerns. This is about terrorism and weapons exports,” Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Naantali, Finland.
Due to its strategic location on the Black Sea between Europe and the Middle East, Stoltenberg characterized Turkey as a critical NATO ally, citing Ankara’s support for Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24.
This is indeed a U-turn by Stoltenberg as he was earlier confident that NATO allies would somehow convince Erdogan to extend his support for the membership bid. But now, he seems to have left the two Nordic nations to fend for themselves.
A win for Russia?
For years, NATO has somehow helped Kurdish militancy across the globe. The most prominent example is Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria for long has been backed by the USA in its bid to control the Syrian territory. But, it failed as Russia backed leader Bashar Al Assad took over the region.
Stoltenberg’s implied approval of Erdogan’s demands shows that NATO is willing to abandon its assistance for the Kurds in order to win Ankara’s favour. However, dismissing the Kurds would only mean that NATO is shooting itself on the foot.
Kurdish militants will definitely side with Russia in such a scenario. Kurds and the Russia-backed Bashar-al-Assad regime have already indicated that they will coordinate with each other to push back Turkey in Northern Syria.
Jens Stoltenberg is on the verge of surrendering to Turkey and Erdogan and tossing the Kurds to the wolves. If Stoltenberg believes that Finland and Sweden would similarly comply with Erdogan’s demands, he is mistaken. This debate between the two Nordic countries and Turkey will only intensify, delaying their admission. In addition, the measure will further bolster Russia’s position in Syria. Putin will undoubtedly have the last laugh.