Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to support Sweden's bid to join NATO. This was stated by the head of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, following negotiations with the Turkish leader, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, on the eve of the NATO summit in Vilnius.
According to Stoltenberg, Erdogan agreed "as soon as possible" to send the protocol on Sweden's accession to NATO to parliament and ensure its ratification.
“This is a historic step that makes all allies stronger and safer,” he wrote.
Turkey's parliament may ratify Sweden's NATO membership bid by the end of next week, CNN Türk reported .
US President Joe Biden supported Erdogan's decision, stressing that he is ready to work with Turkey to strengthen defense and deterrence in the region.
At the same time, Sweden pledged to support Turkey's accession to the European Union, as well as the liberalization of the visa regime, the Turkish Anadolu agency reports . Also, Stockholm will not support organizations that Ankara considers terrorist.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented to RTVI on Turkey's decision: “Turkey is a member of NATO. We never forgot about it. We judge by cases, we draw conclusions.
Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. On April 4, Finland officially became the 31st member of the North Atlantic Alliance, while Sweden's entry into NATO was hampered by Turkey, which demanded that Stockholm extradite Kurdish refugees and Turkish oppositionists. In addition, the Turkish authorities, in order not to support the application of Sweden, used the story of the burning of the Koran (on January 21, the leader of the Danish ultra-right politician Rasmus Paludan burned the Koran at the Turkish embassy in Stockholm).
The leaders of the NATO member countries gather in Vilnius on July 11-12 for a summit where they will discuss questions of Sweden's membership and further relations of the alliance with Ukraine. On July 11, US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky will meet at the summit. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has already said, citing Biden, that Ukraine's admission to NATO at the Vilnius summit "would lead to a war between NATO and Russia." The position of the German government, which intends to block an early entry, can also hinder Ukraine, follows from an internal secret document, Bild reported. In September 2022, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Kiev would apply to join NATO in an expedited manner after Putin signed agreements on the accession of the "LDNR", Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to Russia.