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Turkey blocks NATO membership - and apparently sends "Manifesto" with ten demands to Sweden and Finland

2022-05-18T16:03:20.740Z

Turkey blocks NATO membership - and apparently sends "Manifesto" with ten demands to Sweden and Finland Created: 05/18/2022Updated: 05/18/2022, 17:55 By: Bedrettin Bölükbasi, Katharina Haase, Andreas Schmid Sweden has officially signed the NATO membership application. Finland's parliament has now also agreed to join. Turkey seems to be an obstacle. The news ticker. Parliament in Helsinki agree



Turkey blocks NATO membership - and apparently sends "Manifesto" with ten demands to Sweden and Finland

Created: 05/18/2022Updated: 05/18/2022, 17:55

By: Bedrettin Bölükbasi, Katharina Haase, Andreas Schmid

Sweden has officially signed the NATO membership application.

Finland's parliament has now also agreed to join.

Turkey seems to be an obstacle.

The news ticker.

  • Parliament in Helsinki agrees

    : The Finnish parliament agreed to join NATO.

  • Scholz

    welcomes

    Sweden and Finland

    : Chancellor Scholz again assured Sweden and Finland of his support.

  • War in Ukraine

    pushes

    Sweden

    and

    Finland

    into

    NATO

    : The Swedish government has signed the application for membership and is now waiting for Finland to send it to the alliance.

  • Turkey blockade

    : Erdogan takes veto threat seriously

  • This

    news ticker on Sweden's and Finland's plans to join NATO

    is constantly being updated.

Update from May 18, 5 p.m.:

According to a report by the Turkish pro-government newspaper

Sabah

, Turkey has sent a “manifesto” with 10 demands to Sweden and Finland.

According to this, Turkey initially demands a “clear position” on the fact that, in addition to the banned PKK, its spin-offs are also to be classified as a terrorist organization.

In addition, Ankara calls on the countries not to receive high-ranking names of the respective organizations in the parliaments.

According to Sabah

, the “manifesto” refers

to the “PKK's European representative, Zübeyir Aydar”.

The reception of these people in Parliament and their conferences there are "unacceptable".

Finland and Sweden would also have to refrain from “open financing of the YPG”.

"Other terrorist organizations must not be legitimized under the guise of fighting IS," the demands apparently say.

In addition, no more meetings should be held in Iraq and Syria with the PKK and the YPG and people “who carry out activities on behalf of the PKK/YPG/KCK” should be extradited to Turkey.

The YPG and KCK are recognized by Turkey as offshoots of the PKK.

In Syria, the YPG is an ally of the International Coalition.

According to the pro-government newspaper, the Turkish document also emphasizes that Finland and Sweden are entitled to seek security for their own countries.

However, one should not "support any activities that are directed against the security of Turkey".

According to the “Manifesto”, Ankara also demands a mechanism with the Scandinavian countries for “regular coordination and close cooperation with Turkey in the fight against terror”.

According to

Sabah

, Turkey continues to demand that Helsinki and Sweden prevent the activities of "associations that pose as non-governmental organizations" but are in fact operating against Turkey.

NATO accession: Turkey argues with Sweden and Finland - expert criticizes Ankara's definition of terrorism

Update from May 18, 3:45 p.m .:

In the dispute over NATO’s northern expansion, from the point of view of an expert, Turkey has failed to provide evidence for the allegations against Sweden and Finland.

"Turkish politicians just don't understand the difference between supporting demands for Kurdish political autonomy and actual terrorism," said Salim Cevik from the Center for Turkish Studies at the German Science and Politics Foundation on Wednesday.

NATO accession of Sweden and Finland: Erdogan is now actually blocking - for the time being

Update from May 18, 2:50 p.m .:

Turkey’s President Erdogan is serious about his veto threat against the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO.

Anyone who had hoped that Ankara could at least facilitate the start of accession talks will be taught a lesson on Wednesday.

Turkey has apparently blocked the start of NATO accession talks with Finland and Sweden for the time being.

As the German Press Agency learned from alliance circles, it was not possible on Wednesday morning in the NATO Council, as originally planned, to make the decision necessary to start the admission process.

also read

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Russian material offensive in the east?

Putin sends the "Terminator" to war

Finland and Sweden officially applied to join NATO on Wednesday.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke of a "historic moment".

Turkey called on NATO partners to "respect" Ankara's reservations about admitting Sweden and Finland.

According to information from alliance circles, Turkey raised security concerns at the meeting and made it clear that it cannot agree at this point in time.

Update from May 18, 2:01 p.m

.: Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to set conditions for Sweden and Finland to join NATO.

The countries wanted to continue to support "terrorist organizations", but at the same time Turkey's yes to its entry into the "security association" NATO, the Turkish president criticized.

"To put it mildly, that's a contradiction," he said in a speech to his AKP party in Ankara on Wednesday.

Erdogan accused Sweden of refusing to extradite 30 "terrorists".

"In this respect, we cannot say yes to making this security body unsafe," said Erdogan.

Erdogan describes supporters of the banned Kurdish Workers' Party PKK, which is also considered a terrorist organization in the USA and Europe, as "terrorists".

Turkey also sees the Kurdish militia YPG in Syria as a terrorist organization - for the USA, on the other hand, the YPG in Syria is an ally.

NATO accession: Baltic states welcome application from Finland and Sweden

Update from May 18, 1:44 p.m

.: The heads of government of the Baltic States “expressly” welcome Finland and Sweden’s desire to join NATO and assure the two countries of their support.

"Finland and Sweden share the same values ​​that bind NATO allies together," Kaja Kallas (Estonia), Krisjanis Karins (Latvia) and Ingrida Simonyte (Lithuania) wrote in a joint statement Wednesday.

The NATO accession of Finland and Sweden will increase collective security and strengthen the defense alliance, whose role has become even more important in the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been part of NATO and the EU since 2004.

The small Baltic Sea countries border on Russia and partly also on its ally Belarus.

NATO accession: Sweden and Finland officially apply for membership

Update from May 18, 8:34 a.m .:

Sweden and Finland have officially applied for NATO membership.

Ambassadors from the two countries handed over the relevant documents to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday morning at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels.

The reason for Sweden and Finland's desire to join the military alliance are security concerns that arose in the countries in the wake of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

Until then, both states had resolutely pursued a policy of military non-alignment.

The NATO Council will now deal with the applications for membership.

It is made up of representatives of the 30 alliance states, who have to make a consensus decision on how to proceed.

Inclusion of Sweden and Finland in NATO: Erdogan opposes

The historical developments are overshadowed by the veto threats from NATO member Turkey.

The latter had recently made it clear several times that it would only agree to the accession of Finland and Sweden in exchange for concessions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan explains his stance with the two countries' alleged support for the banned Kurdish Workers' Party PKK and the Kurdish militia YPG in Syria.

At the same time, criticism has been leveled at the fact that NATO countries have restricted the delivery of armaments because of Turkey's actions against these groups.

Until recently, it was unclear how Turkey could be prevented from vetoing Sweden and Finland's NATO membership.

According to diplomats, in addition to statements by the two northerners on the fight against terrorism, arms deals could also play a role.

The government in Ankara wants to buy F-16 fighter jets in the USA - but a possible deal was politically controversial in Washington recently.

Update from May 18, 6:31 a.m .:

Sweden and Finland will officially apply to NATO for inclusion in the military alliance on Wednesday.

The two Nordic countries want to submit the membership applications together.

On Tuesday, the Finnish parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the country joining NATO.

Shortly before, Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde had signed her country's application for membership.

Both Sweden and Finland are striving to join the military alliance because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

For the two Nordic countries, the NATO accession candidacy is a turning point after decades of alliance neutrality.

NATO has given Finland and Sweden the prospect of speedy admission.

However, the member country Turkey is threatening to veto the northern expansion.

Update from May 17, 7:27 p.m .:

In the midst of Finland’s efforts to join NATO, the state-owned energy company Gasum has warned of a Russian gas supply stop.

There is an "increased risk" for such a step by Moscow, the company said on Tuesday.

The official reason could be Finland's refusal to pay for Russian gas in rubles.

However, gas accounts for only eight percent of the Finnish energy mix.

Update from May 17, 4:50 p.m .:

Finland and Sweden want to submit their membership applications to NATO together on Wednesday.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said this on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Finland's President Sauli Niinistö in Stockholm.

The Finnish parliament had previously voted overwhelmingly in favor of a NATO membership application.

In Sweden, Foreign Minister Ann Linde signed her country's application on Tuesday morning.

Her counterpart Pekka Haavisto wanted to sign the Finnish document in the early evening. 

Sauli Niinistö (l), President of Finland, and Magdalena Andersson, Prime Minister of Sweden.

© Anders Wiklund/Tt/dpa

Update from May 17, 4:05 p.m .:

US President Joe Biden will receive Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö

on Thursday

(May 19) for talks about the two countries’ planned entry into NATO.

In addition to the NATO bids, the meeting in the White House will deal with "European security", a deeper partnership between the three countries on a number of issues and support for Ukraine, as the White House announced.

Finland's NATO accession: Parliament in Helsinki agrees - 188 MPs say "yes" to the alliance

Update from May 17, 2:30 p.m .:

The Finnish parliament has approved an application for the country’s NATO membership.

MEPs ended a two-day debate.

188 MPs voted in favor of an application for membership in NATO.

Only eight opposed the plan.

With the application, Finland is reacting to a changed security situation caused by the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

NATO accession: Scholz welcomes Sweden and Finland - Chancellor confident about Turkey's role

Update from May 17, 2:15 p.m .:

Chancellor Olaf Scholz described Sweden and Finland’s plans to join NATO as a “historic step” for both the alliance and Europe.

The countries were reacting to the Ukraine war and the "dramatic change in the security situation in Europe," he emphasized at a press conference with his counterpart from Lichtenstein, Daniel Risch.

"The federal government wholeheartedly welcomes this sovereign decision by our Scandinavian friends," said Scholz.

With Finland and Sweden, two valued allies are gained.

The Chancellor announced that Germany would support a speedy process and invited other countries to do the same.

Scholz also commented on Turkey's resistance: "We see how Turkey acts.

In the current conflict situation, it has acted very constructively, for example with regard to the passage of the Bosporus.

That's why I'm confident."

NATO membership: Sweden's application for membership has been officially signed

First report:

Munich/Stockholm - Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde

signed her country's NATO membership application on Tuesday

(May 17) .

"Our NATO application is now officially signed," Linde wrote on Twitter.

This will now be sent to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as soon as Finland has signed an application.

NATO accession: Ukraine war pushes Sweden and Finland to NATO - "the best for us"

The two countries, which decided to apply for membership in the military alliance under the impression of the Ukraine conflict, want to submit their membership applications together.

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö and the Finnish government have already decided to submit an application.

The Finnish parliament could still vote on Tuesday.

The Swedish government made the final decision on the NATO membership application on Monday.

"It feels big, it feels serious, it feels like we've ended up doing what we think is best for Sweden," Linde said.

Russia under ruler Vladimir Putin criticized the decision and threatened "far-reaching consequences".

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde looks at photographers as she signs Sweden's application for NATO membership at the Foreign Ministry in Stockholm.

© Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency/AP/dpa

Finland and Sweden in NATO: Swedish king praises step - "historical course setting"

Sweden's King Carl XVI.

Gustaf, meanwhile, emphasized his country's intention to join NATO "simultaneously and in agreement with Finland".

"This is a historic step that we are taking side by side with our brother country," he said at a press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Stockholm.

Niinistö had previously arrived in the Swedish capital for a two-day state visit.

The challenges posed by Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine meant "opportunities for consensus and deeper cooperation to stand together even more," the monarch said.

Niinistö added: “Our security policy line has been a similar one for a long time.

And even now, when the situation requires it, we are taking our steps together.” The Finnish President is expected to sign his country's membership application during the state visit to Stockholm. 

Finland and Sweden joining NATO: resistance from Turkey - Niinistö expresses hope

But there is resistance from Turkey.

Ankara could potentially block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO.

Head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously accused both countries of supporting the banned PKK and described them as a "guest house for terrorist organizations".

"Turkey's statements have changed a lot in the past few days and have become very tough," Finland's President Niinistö was quoted as saying by the Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

Nevertheless, according to Niinistö, he hopes that the situation will calm down through "constructive talks".

(bb with material from dpa)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-05-18

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