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No Way for NATO To Ignore Turkey’s Concerns - Russian Diplomat

  • Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko. May. 27, 2022.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko. May. 27, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@Conservadora191

Published 27 May 2022

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Friday that NATO would not be able to disregard Turkey's concerns over Sweden and Finland joining the U.S.-led military bloc. 

Finland and Sweden submitted NATO membership applications to the NATO Secretary-General on May 18. Turkey has opposed the Nordic states' inclusion in the bloc, claiming that both have relations with groups linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara, the EU and the U.S. consider a terrorist group. 

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In an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel, the Russian diplomat said that "in this sense, what we are witnessing concerning Finland's and Sweden's upcoming accession to the North Atlantic Alliance, obviously, neither Brussels nor Stockholm nor Helsinki will not be able to simply wave away Turkey's concerns."

The deputy foreign minister further said that "Ankara is unlikely to be convinced merely by 'NATO solidarity' arguments and that there should be no objecting against the alliance's expansion."

"I think that some compromise solutions will be found to meet Ankara's interests and position," Grushko said. 

In this connection, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 16, addressing the CSTO summit in Moscow, that Russia would take retaliatory measures against expanding NATO military infrastructures in Finland and Sweden. Putin also said that the NATO membership of Finland and Sweden is not an immediate threat to Russia, as relations with these states run smoothly.

For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged that Turkey's national interests be respected and that NATO allies take tangible steps to address Turkey's pressing concerns. He has also issued warnings against NATO expansion, which according to him, will benefit neither Turkey nor the bloc as a whole.    

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