Turkey frustrates Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO bids

HELSINKI — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s dogged opposition to Sweden’s application for membership of NATO has stymied hopes in Stockholm and Helsinki that Ankara will give its approval ahead of parliamentary elections in Turkey slated for May 14. The already tense diplomatic relations between Turkey and Sweden were strained further on Jan. 21 when … Read more

Erdogan might approve Finland’s NATO bid, ‘shock’ Sweden

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president has suggested his country might approve Finland’s application for NATO membership before taking any action on Sweden’s, while the Turkish government issued a travel warning for European countries due to anti-Turkish demonstrations and what it described as Islamophobia. The travel warning published late Saturday followed demonstrations last weekend outside the … Read more

How activists shaped Sweden’s NATO debacle – POLITICO

Elisabeth Braw is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an advisor at Gallos Technologies. Sweden’s process to join NATO should have been the easiest accession in the alliance’s history — then Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided to play hardball, mixing legitimate fears about terrorism with electoral opportunistic politicking. Unfortunately, various activists … Read more

Finland’s top diplomat hints at joining NATO without Sweden

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland’s foreign minister suggested Tuesday that the country may consider joining NATO without neighboring Sweden if Turkey continues to block their joint bid to enter the military alliance. Pekka Haavisto later backpedaled, but his comments were the first time a leading government official in either Nordic country appeared to raise doubts about … Read more

Quran burning in Sweden enrages Turkey, threatens NATO membership path

Sweden and Finland have taken another step in joining NATO, meaning only a formal ratification of their accession agreement is now left. Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images It’s now been eight months since Sweden and Finland declared their intention to join NATO, a move that upended the countries’ longstanding policies of nonalignment … Read more

Scholz holds key to Leopards for Ukraine, but waits for Biden – POLITICO

Press play to listen to this article Voiced by artificial intelligence. BERLIN/DAVOS — International efforts to ship Ukraine modern tanks may hinge on Germany — but it’s waiting for the US to move first, which isn’t happening. Ahead of a meeting of Western defense ministers this Friday at the US Ramstein air base in Germany, … Read more

Germany’s Scholz changes defense ministers — but not his reluctance on tanks (yet) – POLITICO

Press play to listen to this article Voiced by artificial intelligence. BERLIN — Olaf Scholz has once again rebooted his security policy, nominating a new defense minister to take the reins. But when it comes to his reluctance to send battle tanks to Ukraine, the German chancellor is still waiting for the US to take … Read more

Why Ukraine believes tanks can turn the tide of war – POLITICO

Press play to listen to this article Voiced by artificial intelligence. LONDON — In the early years of the 21st century, military planners were pondering the unthinkable — were tanks becoming obsolete? Unmanned drones, cyber warfare and other emerging technologies were seen as the weapons of the future. As recently as 2020, some defense chiefs … Read more

German defense chief reportedly set to quit ahead of crucial Ukraine tank decision – POLITICO

Press play to listen to this article Voiced by artificial intelligence. Germany’s controversial Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht is reportedly set to step down as early as Monday, suffering the consequences from a series of blunders that hurt her credibility and increasingly weighed on Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his declared sea-change in German defense policy. The … Read more

Sweden: Erdogan effigy ‘act of sabotage’ against NATO bid

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Friday denounced a protest by Kurds in central Stockholm, where an effigy of Turkey’s president was hung from a lamppost, as an act of “sabotage” against Sweden’s bid to join NATO. The protest outside City Hall on Wednesday drew an angry backlash from Turkey, a … Read more