Western leaders gather in Lithuania’s capital on Monday to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine amid rare glimmers of disunity over Washington’s controversial decision to supply cluster bombs to Kyiv.
President Volodymyr Zelensky voiced hope that Tuesday’s NATO summit in Vilnius would provide a “clear signal” that Kyiv could join the alliance once its war with Russia is over.
– Cluster concerns –
Ahead of the summit, US President Joe Biden met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a stopover in London on Monday, with British concern over the cluster munitions deal a key subject for discussion.
Britain is one of more than 120 countries that have signed an agreement banning the production, storage, sale and use of cluster bombs, which rights groups say pose a danger to civilian populations long after they are deployed.
Biden said the decision to send the weapons was “very difficult” but Ukrainian forces were “running out of ammunition”.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday played down any rift between the two leaders and in NATO, saying the Biden and Sunak were “on the same page strategically on Ukraine”.
China on Monday denounced the move as ‘irresponsible” and said it could lead to ‘humanitarian problems”.
In a summit expected to present unity on Ukraine’s future membership, a key goal is to pressure Turkey to drop its opposition to Sweden’s all-but-cleared membership bid.
So far nothing to indicate Turkey has changed it’s mind on Sweden
“First, let’s clear Turkey’s way in the European Union, then let’s clear the way for Sweden, just as we paved the way for Finland,” Erdogan said at a news conference, before he departs for the NATO summit in Lithuania.
Erdogan also emphasized that “Turkey has been waiting at the gate of the European Union for over 50 years now,” and “almost all NATO member countries are European member countries.”
Isn’t Hungary still opposed to Sweden joining NATO? Or has this changed?
The Sweden Problem
At a press conference in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO’s Stoltenberg, Vivian Salama of the Wall Street Journal asked, “Are you concerned that Turkey is increasingly becoming a disruptive ally?” Both Blinken and Stoltenberg ducked the question, which led Kylie Atwood of CNN to ask directly about NATO membership for Sweden. Stoltenberg obliquely noted Turkey’s concerns regarding the presence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sweden. “All NATO allies are of course ready to sit down and address those concerns, including the threats posed to Turkey by PKK,” Stoltenberg said.
No, all NATO allies are NOT ready to sit down and legitimately address those concerns- Stoltenberg’s paying lip service to Turkish concerns is obvious!
In 2009, when Sweden held the presidency of the Council of Europe, then-Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt promised to shepherd Turkey into the European Union.
And it’s now 2023…. Turkey, as it stands today, will not be allowed into the EU. Now if the other NATO nations can balkanize Turkey as they’ve been working at doing…..a weakened remainder of Turkey will be allowed in- The rest will form the US/Israel desired, supported and sanctioned “Greater Kurdistan”
In May 2023, Hungary’s president Viktor Orban went to Doha to attend the Qatar Economic Forum. He was asked why his ruling alliance, Fidesz-KDNP, which dominates the parliament (135 out of 199 seats), refuses to ratify Sweden’s entry into NATO. Orban bluntly said that he would not back down because “Sweden unfairly expresses a damaging opinion about the situation of democracy and the rule of law in Hungary.”