Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set the tone for a NATO summit starting in Vilnius, making strong hints that Turkey would pave the way for Sweden to join NATO if Turkey paves the way for Turkey to join the European Union. The Turkish president may think this is an unrealistic demand, but the report also shows that Erdogan certainly wants more to lift the Turkish veto than he has promised so far.
US President Joe Biden also has an idea how to bribe the Turkish president in exchange for EU membership: with F-16 fighter jets. On Sunday, en route to Vilnius, Biden tried to convince Erdogan to allow Sweden to join in the last round before the NATO summit, according to a Guardian article. Biden is suggesting that Congress authorize the sale of F-16s to Turkey if it promises not to use them against Greece.
The Turkish government has wanted to buy US fighter jets for some time, but this has not been approved by Congress on the one hand, because Turkey has been hostile to NATO member Greece (has territorial disputes in the Aegean Sea) and the Turkish government has previously preferred to buy air defense systems from NATO partners, primarily from the US military. Asked Russia. Of course, Biden can’t dictate how Congress will vote, but his support will convince even the most skeptical Democrats.
One of the big questions at the NATO summit is whether Erdogan is satisfied with the warplanes or wants to squeeze more from his Western allies. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has indicated that he does not want to hear about Turkey trying to threaten EU membership, as Turkey’s relationship with the EU and its potential membership have nothing to do with whether or not Sweden joins the North Atlantic military alliance. .