On August 3, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The vote was 95 to 1, well over the two-thirds required for approval. This supports expansion into the strategically vital Arctic, which will significantly expand Russia’s borders with NATO members.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an occasional Russian collaborator, initially opposed the admission of Finland and Sweden. Among his concerns were the presence in Scandinavia of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units. The Turkish government strongly opposes these separatist groups.
Arthur I. Cyr is Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College and author of “After the Cold War” (NYU Press and Macmillan). Readers can write to him at [email protected]