May 30, 2022
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NATO put Finns and Swedes on the counter – they have a month to respond to Turkey

Pictured: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (center) during a press conference with Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (left) and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde (right)

Photo: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (center) during a press conference with Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (left) and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde (right) (Photo: AP Photo / Olivier Matthys / TASS)

Finland and Sweden are unlikely to become candidates for joining the alliance at the upcoming NATO summit if they do not comply with Turkey’s demands, NATO Secretary General said Jens Stoltenberg.

“No one has suffered from terrorist attacks as much as Turkey. Turkey is an important ally, and when an ally raises a problem, it must be addressed. This has always been done, ”Anadolu agency quotes him as saying.

In particular, the NATO Secretary General recalled that due to Greece’s veto, it took more than ten years for North Macedonia to join the alliance, but in the end the problem “was resolved.” According to Stoltenberg, Sweden and Finland, as invited countries, will be able to take part in the alliance’s summit in Madrid, which will be held on June 28-30. However, it will be “difficult” for them to gain a foothold as candidate countries if they do not respond to Turkey’s demands by June 28.

“My goal is for this to be a fast process, and I think we still have time for this,” Stoltenberg added.

Recall that Ankara put forward conditions for Stockholm and Helsinki to approve their application to join the alliance: lift anti-Turkish sanctions imposed by the EU in response to Turkey’s actions in Syria, declare the PKK a terrorist organization and extradite more than 30 people suspected of terrorism. In Sweden and Finland they refused. The subsequent negotiations between the Turkish and Finnish-Swedish delegations, in fact, did not produce results, the parties remained unconvinced.

Earlier, opinions were expressed in the West about the need to put pressure on Turkey, up to the threat of expelling it from NATO, however, judging by the statements of Stoltenberg, the United States nevertheless abandoned attempts to break resistance Erdogan and agreed to its terms. Or is this the position of one Stoltenberg? Whose side is he on anyway? Whom does it support?

– Stoltenberg does not support anyone. He supports the organization of which he is the head, as well as the charter of this organization and its regulatory rules, – considers Associate Professor of the Financial University under the Government of Russia Gevorg Mirzayan.

– If a member country of the organization has questions for a potential candidate, then these problems should be resolved. Otherwise, the rules prohibit the potential candidate from becoming a real member.

“SP”: – In the West, as a result, they decided to put pressure on Finland and Sweden? Have you decided to abandon attempts to push through Turkey?

– If someone is being pushed through, then it will be Sweden and Finland. Simply because it is much more difficult to push through Turkey. Erdogan is not a politician who tends to back down from public pressure. If all these things were decided behind the scenes, then Erdogan might have retreated. Now retreat for him would mean loss of face.

“SP”: – Now the Finns and Swedes are required to fulfill all the requirements of Ankara in full, including the ban on the PKK and the extradition of the Kurds? Or did the Turks eventually soften the requirements?

All of this is subject to negotiation. Sanctions on weapons are likely to be lifted, and questions may arise on the Kurds. It is possible that the Swedes and Finns will make partial concessions on this point. Turkey, in turn, will remove those requirements that could lead to serious internal political unrest in the northern European countries.

“SP”: – Will the Finns and Swedes go for it? After all, it will be a colossal reputational damage? Or is it easier to abandon NATO? If they agreed, what would be the consequences for them? What would voters say?

“They can no longer abandon NATO. All bridges have been burned, all statements have been made, and just abandoning NATO will be a serious blow to the image of the Swedish and Finnish leadership. Therefore, they will now try to agree not on the abolition of Erdogan’s demands, but on their mitigation. maximum softening. Kind of the principle of the lesser evil.

“SP”: – And what about the rest of Turkey’s demands, in particular to the United States: to lift sanctions and return the F-35 to the production program?

– Turkey’s weapons requirements will be fulfilled much easier. These are issues of military-technical cooperation, and the only obstacle here will be the interests of private corporations that make up the American military-industrial complex. But I think that a compromise will be found here.

“SP”: – According to Stoltenberg, Sweden and Finland are unlikely to become candidates for joining the alliance at the upcoming NATO summit in June. And then? How long can this situation last? And is there a way for the parties to rush?

“Time is playing on Erdogan’s side here. Sweden and Finland are in a hurry to join NATO. First, because after the shock of February 24, ordinary people in these countries can again come to their senses and soberly realize that they do not need NATO. Secondly, you need a quick introduction. Simply because entry is seen as a big win. And victory is needed here and now. Thirdly, the entry should be without big scandals and delays, otherwise it will be a blow to NATO’s reputation.

“These references to Macedonia’s 10-year wait for NATO membership are from a past life,” I’m sure member of the political council of the party “The Other Russia” E.V. Limonov”* Andrey Milyuk.

– In the new reality, the Scandinavians will join the alliance before the end of next year, or they will never join.

As long as Russia is busy denazifying Ukraine, it can only threaten future NATO members, but the threats are serious. Finland will lose access to the Russian part of the Saimaa Canal, which means that its inland waterways will be isolated from the Gulf of Finland. It was also stated that it is important for Russia to maintain the demilitarized status of the Aland Islands. If a NATO military base is located on the islands, Russia will be locked in the Gulf of Finland.

So far, the idea of ​​an imminent Russian-Finnish war smacks a little of madness, but the prerequisites for its start have already been formed. That is why Stoltenberg is in a hurry: to draw Finland and Sweden into a military bloc, while all Russian forces are diverted in the Ukrainian direction. The military defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the division of Ukraine with Hungary and Poland, possible conflicts with Moldova and Romania – the alliance still has some time left.

In order to be on time, you can give up the Kurds. The collective West has always considered them only an instrument of pressure on Turkey. Frightened by the new “red threat”, the Finnish and Swedish voters in the mass will simply not notice the surrender of the PKK. And who will look back at these voters. The closer to a new cold war, the less even the formal procedures of democracy will be respected.

On the border of the new Iron Curtain between Europe and Asia, there should be no doubting countries and multi-vector rulers. That is why Sweden and Finland have no chance of remaining neutral. Erdogan can still kick back, but not for the sake of friendship with Russia, but for the sake of an alternative project of an anti-Russian alliance with Turkey at the head.

NATO bargaining with Erdogan will lead to some kind of multi-stage deal format. If the Turks do not give up part of their conditions, then they will have to make some counter gestures. For example, to take a more principled position on our country.

Do not forget that Turkey is only the first who opposed the admission of new members to the Alliance. There are no guarantees that there are no others willing to voice their objections as soon as Turkey has been persuaded.

* The organization is not registered by the Ministry of Justice of Russia.

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