Finland's NATO-Pokka still holds, but under the surface, Turkey is worried
At this stage, the hard pressure from the United States on Turkey is not in anyone's interest, reports journalist Juri von Bonsdorff after the meeting between the Finnish and US foreign ministers.
WASHINGTON When Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto met with his American counterpart Antony Blinken on Friday, the official agenda included Russia, Ukraine, and bilateral relations.
But really only everyone was interested in Turkey. The troubled child of the military alliance NATO has put sticks in the stroller by rejecting Finland's and Sweden's applications for membership. The Turkish leadership claims that the countries are giving political and financial support to the Kurdish PKK.
Turkey is also demanding the lifting of arms embargoes on it.
"Of course, there is always a serious place when a member state raises such concerns," Haavisto said after a meeting in Washington DC.
According to the Foreign Minister, it is not yet time to ask other countries for help. For the time being, Finland, Sweden, and Turkey are negotiating a dispute with each other.
Foreign Minister Blinken emphasized the importance of these negotiations. It is understandable. The intense pressure from the United States on Turkey is not in anyone's interest at this stage.
The stupid policy of power is not to be tarnished by the shield of NATO, which in its new unity will shine cleaner than it has for a long time.
It is now better to observe in the background for the time being, but on the other hand, the clock is ticking and the Madrid summit is approaching at a rapid pace. It is the meeting to which Finland wants to be invited.
Behind the mandatory optimism may already be worrying
In front of the Finnish media, Haavisto repeated on Friday that a solution to the situation in Turkey could be found “not in days, but in weeks”.
That sounds good, but with only a few weeks left in the meeting, there may already be some concern behind the mandatory optimism.
- Well, of course, there is always a situation where there may be delays and scheduling problems to worry about, said Haavisto.
The Foreign Minister said on Friday that he had reminded Blinken that it was a question of security in Finland and Sweden.
- In a way, we rely on such temporary security promises should something bad or unfortunate happen.
President Joe Biden said last week in his laid-back style that the matter will be taken care of. And yes, there are tricks to that in the United States.
Turkey wants to buy American fighter jets, but deals have been frozen since it was decided in Ankara to buy Russian anti-aircraft systems despite American opposition. If necessary, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can be charred in machine shops.
There may be other ways, but will the United States want to force Turkey to retreat in the dispute if the parties themselves fail to reach an agreement. Hardly wants to, but it can be a must.
The Biden administration has already put so much of its own prestige into the game that knocking out applications is not an acceptable option.
If Russian President Vladimir Putin was not allowed to dictate which countries are allowed or not to join NATO, then that right cannot be properly granted to Turkey either.
Finland and Sweden are candidate countries that meet the criteria, but Turkey is an independent country and did not bow to the will of the United States to procure anti-aircraft systems.
In the coming weeks, we will see if the diplomatic muscles of the White House are needed and if they are sufficient in that situation.