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May 29, 2022
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NATO-style ritual sacrifice

Sweden and Finland are offered to pay for joining the alliance with the extradition of Kurdish emigrants to Turkey

As of May 29, the prospects for Finland and Sweden to join NATO are becoming hazy. This directly follows from the statement of the official representative of the President of Turkey, Ibrahim Kalin: …westated that the arguments, voiced in different places and in different contexts, that the PYD-YPG (Kurdish fighting groups) is an organization different from the PKKhave no power for us. Because PYD-YPG is a PKK affiliate in Syria. For now, European structuring is usually done through this PYD-YPG. There are many foundations, associations, organizations and similar media structures in Europe, and we have stated that concrete, clear and satisfactory steps must be taken against them.But we also told them that this should not be just a declaration of intent… After that, of course, negotiations, consultations and negotiations [о вступлении Швеции и Финляндии в НАТО]will continue. However, where, when, how and at what level the next meeting will take place partly depends on what the Swedish and Finnish delegations will answer us.”

Thus, Turkey has drawn a line under the first phase of negotiations between Ankara, Helsinki and Stockholm on the conditions for the entry of the two Nordic countries into the NATO military bloc.

Now the position of Finland and Sweden in relation to Turkish demands, which boil down to the almost complete removal of the Kurdish element from the life of the two Scandinavian countries, ranges from a categorical refusal to take into account the position of the Turks (Sweden) to attempts to start talking about this topic and leave everything as it is (Finland).

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde on May 25 denied allegations by Swedish politicians of ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK): “Incorrect information that Swedish politicians in democratic assemblies represent the terrorist organization PKK. These are serious accusations that have no basis in fact.”. And Pekka Haavisto, Finnish Foreign Minister, said on May 27: “Turkey has expressed concern about the problem of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and terrorism. The PKK is a banned organization in Finland, we have lists of EU terrorist organizations. This is the answer we gave to Turkey.”

However, these are clearly not the answers that can suit the Turkish side. Moreover, part of the Kurdish organizations, which are considered terrorist in Turkey, are not considered as such in Finland and Sweden. In particular, we are talking about the “Gülen movement” (FETO) is a Turkish politician in exile, who in Turkey is considered one of the initiators of the coup attempt in 2016. Here is what Yunus Emre Kanat writes about the Turkish position in Izvestia: “… in 2017, in violation of international law and bilateral agreements between countries, six FETÖ members (recognized as terrorist and banned in Turkey, Pakistan and the unrecognized Republic of Northern Cyprus. – Izvestia) and six members of the terrorist organization PKK fled from Turkey to Finland. Similarly, 21 terrorists fled to Sweden, 10 of which members of FETÖ and 11 PKK members. The Turkish Ministry of Justice requested both countries to extradite these citizens, but Sweden and Finland over the past five years have not responded positively to the request.”

Such intransigence of the Swedes and Finns has a very obvious explanation. The Kurdish communities in both countries have a serious socio-political weight: “The Kurdish diaspora is well integrated into the local community. Kurds have influence in the cultural, economic and political spheres. In the last elections in Sweden in 2018, five Kurdish politicians entered the parliament. This diaspora is the most active in protecting the rights of the Kurdish population in the Middle East… More than 100,000 Kurds live in Sweden and Finland, and those accused by Ankara are citizens of these countries.”

An attempt by the Swedish and Finnish authorities to comply with Turkey’s conditions is fraught with serious domestic political destabilization for the two Scandinavian countries, with the risk of shaking the foundations of the democratic order that they are so proud of.

However, it will be very difficult for Finns and Swedes to defend the integrity of their democracy. Because the interests and goals of the military-political monster (NATO), with which they decided to link their fate, are very different from the ideas of the Finns and Swedes about human rights. It seems that when joining NATO, the Swedes and Finns will have to sacrifice their ideas about democracy.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken directs Stockholm and Helsinki in direct text on how to proceed: “The US administration expects that progress in the process of studying applications from Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Alliance will be both before the NATO summit in Madrid in June and immediately during it … Most importantly, Finland and Sweden speak directly with Turkey, work on some of the concerns expressed by Turkey and find an opportunity to resolve them. We fully support this process… We fully expect that there will be progress in this process as the summit approaches, as well as at the summit itself.”. The NATO summit will be held in Madrid on June 28-30.

The Secretary General of the alliance echoes the US Secretary of State: “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hopes to reach an agreement on membership in the alliance between Finland and Sweden before the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June this year. When an ally raises a problem, it needs to be resolved… There are several Kurdish groups and the PKK is on the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union, that is, Sweden and Finland… My goal is that this [присоединение к НАТО двух новых стран. – Ред.] It was a fast process…

“U.S. President Joe Biden began discussing the initiative for Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Alliance even before the start of the Russian special military operation (SVO),” – wrote on May 27 Washington Mail. Secretary of State Blinken and other high-ranking US administration officials told the newspaper that since April 2021, the US authorities began “holding a series of behind-the-scenes meetings” to create an international coalition to assist Ukraine in connection with Moscow’s possible actions against Kyiv. “Biden came to the conclusion that the best way to undermine Moscow’s hopes for a NATO split would be to join [в альянс] two new strong members, Finland and Sweden”.

So, everything is clear. The decision on the future of Finland and Sweden in NATO was taken by Washington. Now it remains only to settle “minor differences” with Turkey about the Kurds living in these countries. And if it turns out that some of the Kurdish emigrants will have to be sacrificed, then so be it. Finns and Swedes will have to forget about democracy and human rights. And in general, one could guess that the payment for membership in such a military alliance as NATO would be a human sacrifice.

Cover photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

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