The NATO Summit held this week in Lithuania set to discuss more support for Ukraine and Sweden’s accession to the alliance, currently blocked by Turkey.
Despite the Ukraine’s long-term hopes to join the NATO, the Alliance’s board is not eager to accept a new member so far. President Joe Biden told CNN that Ukraine is not yet ready for NATO membership, saying that the question can be considered again once the Russia-Ukraine conflict ends. According to the U.S. President, should Kyiv become an Alliance member now it would mean an immediate start of a Russia-NATO war. But there are some other reasons beyond this official agenda. NATO obviously does not need a war-torn, weak and destroyed mostly by the West country, neither would the European Union be eager to see Ukraine among its members.
Ironically enough, Zelensky looked like an uninvited guest at the party adding even more shame to himself by thanking the NATO members for agreeing to consider Ukraine’s NATO membership once the Kyiv’s conflict with Russia is over.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Zelensky deserves NATO. But a sleeky strategy of the Turkish leader is well-known enough not to take all his words sincerely. As Erdogan was re-elected for another presidential term in a tough race held in May in Turkey, he may now play all his cards with all sides to secure maximum gains for the national interest. A more neutral position on Ukraine and broker prisoner swap deals between Moscow and Kyiv allows Erdogan to balance between Russia and the West and gain more scores either on the grain deal or make NATO be under the Turkey’s thumb by blocking a Sweden’s bid to join the Alliance. Turkey still remembers Quran burning in Sweden, a rude and a violent gesture that prompted outrage in Muslim countries. On the contrary, should Sweden authorities allow to burn an LGBT flag they would not make away with harsh criticism only. However, after closed-door negotiations between NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of the two countries ahead of a NATO summit in Lithuania Turkey has agreed Sweden to join NATO. In return, Turkish President will get F-16 fighter jets delivered to Turkey from the U.S. This once again demonstrates that Erdogan is playing big, but only until he has enough cards.