Turkey has withdrawn its objections to the accession of Sweden to NATO, marking a fresh momentum as the NATO summit commences on Tuesday. The decision, announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been hailed as a historic day by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, following days of intensive meetings.
As part of the agreement, Erdogan has pledged to seek parliamentary approval for NATO membership of Sweden. It is anticipated that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will take a similar step. The agreement represents a victory for U.S. President Joe Biden, who has emphasized NATO’s expansion as a response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. With Finland already becoming the alliance’s 31st member, Sweden is poised to become the 32nd.
US President Biden, having arrived in Vilnius on Monday evening, is scheduled to hold a meeting with President Erdogan on Tuesday evening. Further underscoring the importance of the moment.
While the resolution of Sweden’s NATO membership issue is cause for celebration. Leaders at the summit still face other crucial questions, including Ukraine’s desire to join the alliance. The Baltic states, particularly Lithuania, the host of the event, have advocated for a robust display of support and a clear pathway to membership for Ukraine.
Ukraine’s NATO membership
However, both the United States and Germany have expressed reservations, with President Biden recently stating that Ukraine is not yet prepared to join NATO. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to attend the summit on Wednesday. Adding weight to the discussions on this matter.
NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg reiterated the alliance’s commitment to eventually granting Ukraine membership. A pledge was made in 2008 during President George W. Bush’s tenure. However, he did not provide further specifics on the timeline or conditions for Ukraine’s accession.
As the NATO summit proceeds, leaders are poised to address a range of pressing issues. Striving to fortify the alliance and demonstrate resilience in the face of geopolitical challenges, particularly Russia’s actions in Ukraine.