WASHINGTON, D.C. – NATO is preparing for their upcoming member gathering in Spain. Before they meet, the alliance is facing challenges internally with Turkey and with the continued war in Ukraine.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reassure the NATO membership is strong, despite rifts between Turkey, a NATO member, from threatening to block Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership.
“We have met with them and I’m going to convene a meeting in a few days with senior officials and then follow up to ensure that we make progress on the applications of Finland and Sweden to join NATO,” said Stoltenberg.
Turkey’s president accused the two potential NATO members of harboring members of the separatist militant Kurdistan’s workers party, known as the PKK. The PKK seeks an independent state in Turkey and has been in conflict with Turkey for decades. The Secretary General said they’re looking at the threats posed against Turkey very seriously and add that Turkey is a valuable ally because of their push back against ISIS, but also their geolocation near Russia, especially now with the war in Ukraine.
Recently, President Biden announced they’re sending more advanced rocket systems and munitions to Ukraine to help them hit targets 50 miles away.
“The Ukrainians have given us assurances that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory,” said Blinken.
There are concerns that sending more weapons could provoke a broader war with Russia, but they defended their stance.
“What we do know is that almost all wars end at some stage at the negotiating table and this has also been clearly stated by President Zelenskyy that at some stage this will end at the negotiating table but what happens there at the negotiating table is of course, to hold the dependence on the strength the situation on the battlefield and that’s what we do to support them and upholding the right for self-defense,” said Stoltenberg.
NATO said Russia can end this war at any time, but worry that it could continue for months.