KazPost

Kazakhstan News
Monday, Dec 11, 2023

Why is Sweden left behind in the Nordic NATO bid?

Why is Sweden left behind in the Nordic NATO bid?

Turkey becomes the final member to ratify Finland’s application to join the bloc as Sweden’s path remains unclear.

After decades of staying out of military alliances, last May Finland and neighbouring Sweden announced bids to join NATO following Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.

With Turkey becoming the final and 30th member to ratify Finland’s bid on Thursday, the Finns are expected to finalise their membership in the coming days, while Sweden continues to face opposition.

Finland President Sauli Niinistö tweeted after Turkey’s decision: “We look forward to welcoming Sweden to join us as soon as possible.”

Here are five things to know about the two countries’ membership bids, and why Sweden’s bid is lagging.


Why did two Nordic states make historic U-turn?


For decades, most Swedes and Finns were in favour of maintaining their policies of military non-alignment.

However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year sparked sharp U-turns.

The change was especially dramatic in Finland, which shares a 1,300km (800-mile) border with Russia.

Prior to the application, public support for NATO membership had remained steady at 20-30 percent for two decades, but a February poll suggested 82 percent were happy with the decision to join the alliance, according to the AFP news agency.

A Swedish poll in January had 63 percent of Swedes in favour of joining the bloc.

During the Cold War, Finland remained neutral in exchange for assurances from Moscow that it would not invade. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Finland remained militarily non-aligned.

Sweden adopted an official policy of neutrality after the 19th-century Napoleonic wars, which was amended to one of military non-alignment following the end of the Cold War.


What is the reason for split entry?


The Nordic neighbours were originally adamant they wanted to join the alliance together, agreeing to submit their applications at the same time.

Despite assurances they would be welcomed with “open arms”, their applications quickly ran into opposition, primarily from NATO member Turkey.

Bids to join NATO must be ratified by all members of the alliance.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in mid-March asked parliament to ratify Finland’s bid, but delayed Sweden’s following a litany of disputes.

Similarly, when Hungary ratified Finland’s bid on March 27, Sweden’s was pushed until “later”.

Hungary is holding up Sweden’s admission, citing grievances over criticism of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s policies. However, Budapest is likely to approve Sweden’s bid if it sees Turkey moving to do so.

Meanwhile, Finland decided to move forward, even if it meant leaving Sweden behind.

Since Finland’s parliament has already approved the application, all it needs to do now that all ratifications have been secured is deposit an “instrument of accession” in Washington to finalise the membership.


What is Turkey’s issue with Sweden?


Sweden, Finland and Turkey signed a trilateral memorandum at a NATO summit in June last year to secure the start of the accession process.

However, Ankara has repeatedly butted heads with Stockholm, saying its demands have remained unfulfilled, particularly for the extradition of Turkish citizens that Turkey wants to prosecute for “terrorism”.

It has accused Sweden of providing a safe haven for “terrorists”, specifically members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, which, Ankara believes, is linked to the PKK.

Negotiations between the countries were temporarily suspended in early 2023, after protests, involving both the burning of the Quran and a mock hanging of an effigy of Erdogan, were staged in Stockholm.

For Sweden, the timeline remains uncertain. Talks between Sweden and Turkey have made little progress.

Neither Turkey nor Sweden has yet scheduled parliamentary votes on Sweden’s application, but NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said getting Sweden’s application over the line is a top priority.

He has said he hopes both Finland and Sweden will be members by the time of an alliance summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11 and 12.

Newsletter

Related Articles

KazPost
Close
0:00
0:00
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
An Ominous Shift in Warfare: Western Powers Risk War Crimes and Violate International Norms with Cluster Bomb Supply to Ukraine
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
Corruption in the European Parliament - Business as usual
UK Crypto and Stablecoin Regulations Become Law as Royal Assent is Granted
Paris Suburb Grapples with Violence as Curfew Imposed: Saint-Denis Residents Express Dismay and Anger
A Delaware city wants to let businesses vote in its elections
Alef Aeronautics Achieves Historic Milestone with Flight Certification for World's First Flying Car
Google Blocked Access to Canadian News in Response to New Legislation
French Politicians Advocate for Pan-European Regulation on Social Media Influencers
Melinda French Gates Advocates for Increased Female Representation in AI to Prevent Bias
×