Skip to content

Kremlin tells Türkiye to wise up about EU


Nations of the 27-state bloc “don’t want to see” Ankara as a member, Russia has warned

Russia has no illusions about Türkiye’s commitments to NATO but would urge Ankara to look realistically about its chances of joining the EU, Moscow has said. The Turkish president had previously linked Sweden’s accession to the US-led military bloc with his own nation’s long-standing wish to become part of the European community.

Russia realizes that Türkiye has commitments to NATO, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday. “We never put on rose-tinted glasses in that regard,” he said. But neither should Ankara wear the proverbial accessory when it comes to EU membership, the official added.

“Calling a spade a spade, nobody wants to see Türkiye in Europe. I am referring to Europeans,” Peskov stated.

The remarks followed Turkey’s apparent agreement to drop its objection to Sweden joining NATO. The process cannot be completed unless all members of the 31-strong military organization agree to it, and Ankara has voiced objections.

On Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had agreed to send Sweden’s bid for ratification to the national parliament. Earlier on the same day Erdogan linked Ankara’s approval with his nation making progress towards EU membership, a process that so far has seen five decades of unsuccessful negotiations.

“First, come and open the way for Türkiye at the European Union and then we will open the way for Sweden, just as we did for Finland,” he said, ahead of a NATO leaders’ summit in Lithuania this week.

Both Stoltenberg and Brussels denied such a connection. But the NATO chief suggested that Stockholm could help Ankara improve relations with the EU, particularly in terms of customs relations or in the form of a possible visa-free travel agreement.

Stoltenberg made his announcement after talks with Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. He suggested that NATO members could capitalize on the momentum of this week’s summit in Vilnius “to ensure as much progress as possible” with the Swedish bid.

Moscow perceives Brussels-based NATO as a hostile organization and a US geopolitical tool currently being used to wage a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Türkiye has maintained a relatively neutral stance on the Ukrainian conflict, serving as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev on multiple occasions.

Peskov noted that, although Russia and Türkiye have their differences in some areas, they also have opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.


Source link