When NATO invited Sweden and Finland into the military alliance in June, its leaders hailed a “historic decision” that showed their collective determination to face down Russian aggression in Ukraine. But the expansion plan has gone nowhere, with Turkey refusing to allow Sweden to join unless it does more to crack down on groups outlawed in Turkey, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK. As the dispute drags on, it’s complicating efforts to present a united front against Moscow.
It’s demanding that Swedenextradite suspected Kurdish militants and alleged coup-plotters wanted by Turkey and stop supporters of Kurdish movements in Sweden displaying their allegiances openly. Turkeydropped its opposition to inviting Sweden and Finland into NATO after they agreed to cooperate with Ankara on countering terrorism, quickly address pending extradition requests and confirm that they wouldn’t blockarms exports to Turkey. Days later, Turkey made clear that it wouldn’t ratify their membership if they didn’t fulfill those promises.