Russian official warns of consequences for Turkey, which supports NATO expansion

Russian politician Leonid Slutsky issued an apparent warning on Wednesday, saying there would be consequences for Turkey if it agreed to admit Sweden and Finland into NATO.

In a Telegram post, Slutsky, leader of the right-wing Russian Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) and chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, wrote that if he were in Turkey’s place, “I would not be overly flattered by the assurances I received in the exchange.” for not having vetoed the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO,” read an English translation of his post, the state news agency TASS.

Slutsky did not elaborate on why Turkey should not “flatter” itself about the assurances it received in the deal.

“The accession of Finland and Sweden, in fact, to the front line of the alliance and the rejection [their] Non-aligned status will be the choice of these countries,” he added, according to the TASS translation. which is already in deep crisis.”

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, both Sweden and Finland announced plans to bid for membership of NATO, a defensive military alliance currently made up of 30 member countries. All member states must support the admission of a new member for an application to be approved, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan initially said he would block applications from both Nordic countries over security concerns centered on their alleged admission of members of one organisation , which Turkey considers a terrorist organization.

But Erdoğan and his Finnish and Swedish counterparts met at a NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday and agreed on a memorandum addressing Turkey’s security concerns. On Wednesday, NATO officially invited Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance with Turkey’s support.

Russian officials such as President Vladimir Putin have vehemently opposed NATO expansion, warning both Sweden and Finland not to join it. Putin even cited the prospect of NATO expansion as one of his reasons for invading Ukraine.

Russian politician warns Turkey
Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky warned Turkey on Wednesday that it should not “flatter” itself about assurances it received in exchange for supporting Sweden and Finland’s entry into NATO. Above: Slutsky attends the funeral of Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on April 8 in Moscow.
Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images

Slutsky added in Wednesday’s post on Turkey’s NATO stance that “Gorbachev was once promised something, too,” apparently referring to former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. Slutsky did not specify what he meant about the former leader of the USSR. news week asked the politician for clarification through the State Duma.

NATO is strengthening its own security in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Monday that the number of NATO troops on high alert would increase more than sevenfold, the largest increase since the Cold War.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III also announced Wednesday that the US will deploy its first permanent military forces to NATO’s eastern flank.

news week has asked the Turkish Presidential Office and the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment. Russian official warns of consequences for Turkey, which supports NATO expansion

Rick Schindler

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