Sweden and Finland are expected to sign the formal protocol for accession to NATO membership today.
The two states abandoned their historical neutrality in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and declared their intention to join NATO. At the NATO summit last week, Turkey, Finland and Sweden reached an agreement on supporting the latter two state’s membership bids following Turkish concerns around their perceived support for Kurdish militants. The ascension process is lengthy due to the required parliamentary approval of the bids in all member states. Nevertheless, cooperation between NATO and the two states already occurs through joint exercises.
The agreement involves Sweden and Finland largely accepting Turkish demands to take a harsher stance on Kurdish groups in Turkey and the Middle East. Still, the breakthrough has also been linked to the U.S. agreeing to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, which was previously blocked due to Turkey’s purchase of Russian weapons systems. Turkey achieving its demands indicates it’s attained more geopolitical importance both regionally and in NATO due to its strategic position in the Middle East and as a counterweight to Russia.
Download the Daily Brief app to stay ahead of geopolitics with daily, short, forward-looking analysis of geopolitical events before they hit the headlines.
Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.