Erdogan blocks Finland and Sweden from joining NATO so as not to upset Putin – CNN

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is blocking the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO in order not to upset Putin, but this could play into the hands of the Kremlin.

It is reported RBC-Ukraine with reference to CNN.

Turkey is not the only country blocking the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO: Hungary also failed to ratify the accession of the Scandinavian countries, further muddying the waters. However, for now, the priority is to involve Turkey.

Both Finland and Sweden – along with the vast majority of NATO allies – would like to see the countries formally join the alliance at the July 11 NATO summit. However, on the way to this becoming a reality, there is a significant obstacle – Turkey.

Officially, the Turkish president objects to the membership of Sweden and Finland for what he claims are security reasons.

“The image he created of a strong man who achieves results for the Turkish people has been destroyed… There is a lot of anti-Western and anti-Kurdish sentiment in Turkey now. It’s a good topic for him to beat the drum on, and a dramatic U-turn will only make him look weaker,” explains Gonul Tol of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey Program.

Tol believes that there are other reasons why Erdogan does not want to upset Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Russia has become an economic lifeline for Turkey after other countries imposed sanctions for its activities in Syria, military cooperation with Russia and other hostile activities… Without Russian money, Erdogan would not be able to raise salaries or provide financial support to students. Now he (Erdogan – ed.) promises massive reconstruction after the earthquake. Therefore, Russia still remains an attractive partner for Erdogan,” Tol explains.

However, if Sweden and Finland do not join the alliance at all, there is a risk to NATO and the wider Western alliance, and the Kremlin can use this for propaganda purposes. If that happens, even if the war ends suddenly, the narrative of a divided West will continue to be a drumbeat for NATO’s opponents.

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