Turkey withdraws objection to Finland and Sweden joining NATO

28 June, 2022

By ECCT staff writers


Finland and Sweden are now one step closer to becoming members of NATO after Turkey dropped its opposition to them joining the alliance, which has been taken in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The three countries signed a joint memorandum after hours of talks today, brokered by NATO, thereby ending a six-week veto by Ankara based on its concerns about terrorism.


The agreement on the eve of NATO’s annual summit in Madrid ends a dispute that threatened to overshadow an event billed as showing unity against Russia, support for Ukraine and the alliance’s 10-year “strategic concept” designed to revamp its approach to defending its eastern European allies.



While the precise details of the agreement are not clear, among other issues, Turkey’s leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had objected to Sweden’s support for a Syrian Kurdish militia with close links to the PKK that has served as the backbone of the US-led campaign against Isis. In addition, it has been speculated that Erdoğan has sought to instrumentalise the issue of Sweden and Finland’s Nato membership to secure commitments from Washington, particularly in relation to Ankara’s request to buy new US-made F-16 fighter jets as well as upgrades for existing aircraft.

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