The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, lifted the veto on Sweden’s accession to NATO on Monday, on the eve of an alliance summit that will focus on giving a message of unity in supporting Ukraine against the invasion. Russian.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that due to the agreement reached on Monday, Erdogan will send “Sweden’s Accession Protocol to the Grand National Assembly as soon as possible, and will work together with the Assembly to ensure ratification.”
Earlier in the day, Erdogan had shaken NATO by saying that his country would only lift its veto on Sweden’s entry into the military alliance if Turkey’s delayed accession to the European Union (EU) was approved.
Erdogan held a meeting yesterday Monday with Stoltenberg and the Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kistersson, but in response to the new demand, a meeting between the Turkish leader and the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, was organized.
At the end of that meeting, Michel announced that he had discussed with Erdogan ways to “revitalize” EU-Turkey relations.
In addition, Michel pointed out, the Council “invited the High Representative (the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell) and the European Commission to present a report with a vision on how to proceed strategically and with an eye on the future” .
Turkey submitted its candidacy to join the EU in 1987, and was deemed eligible in 1999, although there has been virtually no progress in that direction over the past decade.
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, disembarked in Vilnius at the beginning of the afternoon, coming from London, where he held meetings with the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and with King Carlos III.
Underlining that he was “impatient” to welcome Sweden as NATO’s 32nd member state, Biden expressed his willingness to work with Erdogan “to strengthen defense and deterrence in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock hailed the “good news from Vilnius.”
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson hailed “a good day” for his country and a “big step”.
Hungary must also approve membership, but its Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, has suggested that it could do so quickly, indicating that he does not want to be the last to take the step.
The NATO summit will have as its central issue the delicate relationship of the transatlantic military alliance with Ukraine, which since February 2022 has been facing an invasion by Russian troops.
The country has insistently demanded security guarantees and future membership.
On the accession of Ukraine to the military alliance, NATO will raise an important obstacle in the process: the requirement of the so-called Membership Action Plan (MAP), a device that establishes a series of objectives of reforms.
The allies “are ready” to remove this requirement for Ukraine’s candidacy to join, a Western alliance official told AFP, on condition of anonymity.
This plan “is only one of the stages of the NATO accession process. Even if it is eliminated, Ukraine will have to carry out other reforms before joining NATO,” the official said.
Short-term income seems, however, ruled out.
The United States and Germany insist on an imprecise promise about the future accession of Ukraine, without determining a timetable.
“I don’t think it’s ready to join NATO,” US President Joe Biden told CNN, adding that there was no unanimity among the allies on Ukraine’s integration “in the middle of a war.”
“We would be at war with Russia if that were the case,” he warned.
“The NATO accession process takes time,” he added.
The Russian government considered that kyiv’s entry into the alliance would be “very negative” for security in Europe.
To counter this position and show their support, several NATO heavyweights are negotiating possible long-term arms supply commitments to Kiev, especially as Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive in June to recapture Russian-occupied areas, but progress is slow.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country has received tens of billions of dollars worth of military equipment.
The United States promised on Friday to send the controversial cluster bombs.
These weapons, banned in many countries, kill indiscriminately by dispersing small explosive charges, and can cause numerous collateral civilian casualties.