The North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) should not allow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to blackmail himself, since he is primarily guided by the interests of his own policy on the issue of accession to Sweden and Finland, writes Der Spiegel.
“If Turkish President Erdogan has learned anything in his nearly 20 years in power, it is the ability to exploit the weaknesses of his opponents. And he demonstrates this again in the dispute over the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, ”said the author of the May 19 article, columnist Maximilian Popp.
In his opinion, NATO should not give in to the Turkish leader, who behaves like a double agent.
“In recent years, Erdogan has behaved like a double agent. On the one hand, his country is a member of NATO, on the other hand, Turkey has concluded arms deals with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and threatened war with NATO partner Greece,” he said.
The journalist warns that pandering to Turkey could set a dangerous precedent.
“Already, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic feels encouraged to announce his consent to Sweden and Finland joining NATO. NATO must not allow the alliance to become a place for blackmail. It is better to go into conflict with Erdogan,” the author of the article concluded.
Seth Cropsey, a columnist for the American newspaper The Hill, made an opposite proposal to US leader Joe Biden on May 22. He urged him to negotiate with his Turkish counterpart Erdogan and convince him to open the Black Sea to NATO ships in order to strengthen the bloc.
On May 16, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkish side could not agree with the entry of Sweden and Finland into the North Atlantic Alliance. According to him, this position is due to Ankara’s contradictions with Stockholm and Helsinki on the extradition of persons whom Turkey considers involved in terrorist activities.
On the same day, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde announced that a Swedish delegation was planning to travel to Turkey soon to discuss the application for NATO membership. On May 16, the Swedish government officially decided on NATO membership. The day before, a similar decision was announced in Finland.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted critically to the statement by the authorities of Finland and Sweden about plans to join the alliance. Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 16 during the anniversary summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization noted that the expansion of NATO is artificial. The head of state also said that the North Atlantic Alliance goes beyond its geographical purpose and is trying to influence other regions in this way.