Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan submitted to the parliament – the Grand National Assembly – a protocol on Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). This was reported by Anadolu Agency with reference to the Erdogan administration.
Sweden has applied to join NATO in 2022 amid Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine. Finland did this at the same time. Countries that previously remained neutral thus abandoned the policy of military non-alignment. Applications to join the Alliance must be approved by all NATO members. Finland received approval in April.
On July 10, 2023, Erdogan said that he would not give the green light to Sweden’s entry into NATO until the European Union unfreezes negotiations on Turkey’s admission to the EU.
“I appeal to those countries that have made Turkey wait at the door to the European Union for more than 50 years. First, open the way for Turkey to the EU, and then we will open the way for Sweden to NATO, as we have already done for Finland,” the Turkish President said.
The next day, July 11, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Erdogan had agreed to submit the protocol on Sweden’s admission to NATO to parliament for ratification. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called the moment a “historic step.”