‘The stakes here are now massive’: Turkey is threatening to block NATO membership for Sweden and Finland – CNBC
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that NATO expanding eastward into Ukraine would be a “red line” for Russia. However, three months into the Ukraine invasion, Putin appears to be softening his tone.
Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO on Sunday and Monday, respectively, to ensure their own national security would not be threatened by Russia in the future. Russian officials have warned against this, but now Putin is trying to downplay the significance of the move.
Russian officials have said that should Finland and Sweden join NATO, Russia would build up its military capabilities in the Baltic Sea.
The Russian president suggested that he would react aggressively if NATO decided to set up military bases or station weapons in Finland or Sweden, although he did not indicate whether he would authorize sending nuclear weapons or heavy-duty missiles to the region.
Changing his tune from recent ‘tough’ talk Putin said that NATO’s geographic expansion is “artificial” and does not constitute a threat to Russia.
Some might speculate that he is taking this stance for two reasons. One is his war in Ukraine is a disaster both for the Russian military and the Russian economy. The second and possibly more influential reason is his relationship with Turkish President Recep Erdogan who much like Vladimir Putin has been entrenched in his own countries political system for decades.
Based on public comments by Erdogan it is likely he will veto membership approval for Sweden and Finland. Which requires unanimous consent decree by all members. Nato includes 30 member states.
Both Sweden and Finland have small populations are home to many ethnic Russians. That and their massive shared borders give both countries cause for concern for the future. Primarily instigated by Putin’s acts of aggression in Ukraine.
For more on this story consider these sources:
- ‘The stakes here are now massive’: Turkey is threatening to block NATO membership for Sweden and Finland CNBC
- Finland wants to join NATO, Russia stalls again in Ukraine News 19 WLTX
- Putin says Sweden and Finland joining NATO and breaking with decades of neutrality is fine after all. ‘No problems’ Yahoo Finance
- If NATO welcomes Finland and Sweden, Putin may head to Moldova The Hill
- NATO’s balancing act The Hill
- View Full Coverage on Google News