Turkey has made an announcement on Wednesday during the NATO summit in Madrid, about that it would be dropping its opposition to Finland and Sweden’s bids to join NATO.
Amid the ongoing Russia’s full-scale military operation against Ukraine, the latest development now opens the window for the Nordic nations to become members of the military alliance.
The three nations have signed a joint agreement after hours of talks on Tuesday, mediated by NATO, which ended a six-week veto by Ankara tied to concerns over support for Kurdish separatists.
The following deal comes as a boost for the NATO on the evening of the summit, as the row was threatening to overshadow an event meant to show unity against Russia, support of Ukraine and the alliance’s newly billed ‘strategic concept’ which will beef up its approach to defending its eastern European allies.
At the same time, Finland’s president Sauli Niinisto said, “Our foreign ministers signed a trilateral memorandum which confirms that Turkey will, at the Madrid Summit this week, support the invitation of Finland as well as Sweden to become the NATO’s member. The concrete steps of our accession to NATO will be agreed by the NATO allies during the other two days, but that decision is now imminent.”
According to the statement released by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, “The deal involved Sweden and Finland changing their approaches to what Ankara views as threats and advancing work on Turkish extradition requests.”
Stoltenberg added that both Sweden and Finland would ease restrictions on their arms embargo to Turkey.
Both are moves that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can boast as political victories in Turkey in the run-up to elections that are to be held before the month June in the coming year.