Turkey’s opposition is over and now the way is clear for Sweden to join NATO.
Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO last year in response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Finland has already joined the alliance, but Turkey and Hungary used their veto power on Sweden’s application to prevent these Scandinavian countries from joining.
However, earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifted his months-long resistance. Hungary did the same and for the first time it looks like Sweden will get NATO membership in the near future.
Analysts say Sweden’s membership would make the entire Baltic coast NATO territory – except for the Russian coast and its outskirts. This would make it easier to defend the Baltic states in the event of a Russian invasion. Army and equipment can be easily transported by ship from Sweden to countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. From here the entire Baltic Sea could be controlled.
Actually, Sweden’s geographical location is the biggest reason why NATO is eager to give it membership. Although Sweden is a small country and the number of soldiers in its army is about 38 thousand. But Sweden’s military is state-of-the-art. It has a good naval power in terms of submarines and its army has experience in fighting wars. The Swedish military has already taken part in several NATO operations, including Afghanistan.
Sweden spends about 1.3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in the defense sector. After the Cold War, Sweden, like many other countries in the West, drastically cut its defense spending. In view of the Ukraine crisis, Sweden is preparing to increase defense spending. Sweden and NATO already cooperate with each other in many ways.
In such a situation, getting the membership of NATO will bring important changes in the context of Sweden, as stated in Article 5 of the Treaty of Alliance. It states that any armed attack against any NATO member country or countries shall be considered as an attack against NATO member countries.
NATO membership gives Sweden many rights in the NATO Council, including the use of veto power. This was the right, using which Turkey was still not allowing this Scandinavian country to take membership of NATO. Sweden’s path to NATO was not an easy one. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Turkey has agreed to Sweden’s entry into NATO.
But till then Erdogan had not made any such announcement. In response to this statement, he demanded Turkey’s inclusion in the European Union. Brussels got disturbed by this demand of Turkey. He immediately rejected Erdogan’s demand, saying that NATO and the European Union are two separate processes. Later, in a joint statement issued after the agreement on the NATO accord, Sweden said that it would actively support the process of Turkey’s integration into the European Union.
Turkey has to find a balance between Russia and the West due to wild inflation and a sinking currency lira. Ankara can get economic benefits by improving relations between the European Union and Turkey. Turkey’s agricultural products, service sector and government warehousing services can expand.
Negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the European Union began in Brussels in 2005. never happened After the attempted military coup in Turkey in July 2016, these talks went completely cold. Following the failed coup, Ankara took counter-terrorism measures, which reached human rights violations.