The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the geopolitical map of the world, causing countries such as Finland and Sweden to claim membership in NATO to ensure their security after the Kremlin's offensive. Although the initiative is welcomed by practically all the member countries of the Alliance -the unanimity of the 30 members is needed for it to go ahead-, the Turkish president, Recep Tayip Erdogan, has raised his reservations, blocking a negotiation that will try to disentangle itself with a meeting that will be held this Tuesday in Madrid.
“On Tuesday in Madrid, and at the request of the NATO Secretary General, a meeting will take place between Turkey, NATO, Sweden and Finland with the participation of our president.
This meeting will take place before the NATO summit," confirmed Ibrahin Kalin, the spokesman for the Turkish present, in an interview. Before flying to the Spanish capital, the Turkish president himself has demanded "results, not just words" from Sweden and Finland, demanding that they show that his concerns are taken into account.
"The candidatures of Sweden and Finland will strengthen NATO, but an ally, Turkey, has expressed specific security concerns, and we must take them into account," Stoltenberg explained yesterday. "The only thing I can promise is that we are working as hard as possible to find a solution as soon as possible."
Fearing that the worsening of their situation is the key that opens the negotiations, the Kurdish refugee community in Sweden, made up of some 100,000 people, has begun to express their concern about Erdogan's claims. "We don't want the Kurds to be at the negotiating table," Shiyar Ali, a Scandinavian representative from the Kurdish regions of northern Syria, told Reuters.
As the newspaper 'The New York Times' recalled weeks ago, this is not the first time that the Turkish president has tensed decisive NATO negotiations in pursuit of his own interests. As early as 2009, Erdogan vetoed the appointment of a Danish-born secretary general, saying Denmark was too tolerant of Muhammad caricatures and once again deploring his ties to Kurdish leaders. The situation came to a head after former US President Barack Obama assured Erdogan that a Turk would be appointed to a senior position in the Alliance.