Between the West and Russia, Erdogan’s dangerous game. Is the threat of Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO a serious threat or nonsense? – Viewer

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May 2016. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a conference on security in the Balkans, revealed the content of his private conversation with NATO Secretary-General: “You are not in the Black Sea. The Black Sea has almost become a Russian lakeErdogan told Jens Stoltenberg on his own account. “History will not forgive us if we do not take action” Added with conference participants.

Six years ago, the Turkish leader called on the Atlantic Alliance to increase its presence in the region in order to serve as a counterweight to the Russians. Tensions between Ankara and Moscow: The war in Syria has intensified, with both countries on opposite sides of the embargo (in support of Russian President Bashar al-Assad, against Turkey), and marked the previous year. Turkey’s operation to shoot down Russian military plane in Syria.

But over the next few years the gap between the two countries will smoothly blur. By 2022, Erdogan will have enough political capital with Russia to consider himself a neutral country in the face of war in Ukraine and seek to mediate a peace deal. This initiative has not yet yielded positive results for Ankara – but we will get there. Prior to that, Erdogan announced that he could veto Sweden and Finland from joining NATO, as he could not ignore the new role Turkey is trying to play in the international arena.

However, how to interpret it Six years on, the Turkish leader has gone from asking for strength from the coalition against Russia to now serving his own interests. Related to NATO? At a time when Russia is trying to capture more land around the Black Sea?

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First came the wrinkles on the nose. “We are making progress with Sweden and Finland, but we have no positive thoughts [à adesão]Erdogan told reporters last Friday about the intentions expressed by the Swedish and Finnish governments to join NATO. Two days later, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Came in boiling water He said Turkey only needed “security guarantees” and if they were granted, it would not be a barrier to accession.

But here it is, This Monday, Erdogan tightened his tone again: “None of these countries has a clear approach to the terrorist organization,” he said, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK in its original acronym). “How can we trust them?”

Two days later, the first serious threat emerged: Ankara blocked the initial stage of the process, According to a source in the Financial Times. “We are not saying they cannot be members of NATO,” a Turkish representative told the newspaper. “We say we have to be on the same side.” Turkey demands the handing over of 30 PKK “terrorists” to change its position.

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