Finland has joined the imperialist bloc NATO. The news came at the end of March, as Turkey voted to ratify Finland’s accession to NATO.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, initially blocked Finland’s accession to NATO, citing concerns relating to support for supposed terrorist organisations and issues regarding trade relations.
The groups in question include The Workers’ Party of Kurdistan (PKK), People’s Defence Units (YPG) and others. However, not all of these organisations are considered terrorist organisations by all three states. It’s possible that the concessions to Turkey could lead to the extradition of Kurdish rights activists back to Turkey for persecution.
Finland is also responsible for a considerable amount of weapons manufacturing. Turkey previously claimed that it had been put under a weapons export ban by the Finnish government, demanding its removal in exchange for accession to NATO. Finland responded, claiming that no such policy was in place.
On Tuesday, a 10-point deal was published, outlining the compromises made between the three states.
This compromise has been met with considerable resistance by activists in Finland and Sweden, citing concerns of deportation outlined in point 8 of the deal. The article ties both Nordic countries to a commitment “to address Türkiye’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly.”
Finland’s accession to NATO represents another imperialist expansion by the US-headed defence alliance. Finland’s 1,300-kilometre border with Russia made its immediate accession into NATO a priority for the imperialist bloc. This is despite Russia’s initial reasoning for the Ukrainian invasion being the east-word expansion of the imperialist bloc.
Finland and Sweden both applied to join NATO in May of last year and hoped to be accepted at the same time. However, Turkey has made no comment on accepting Sweden’s application.
Turkey has repeatedly commented on Sweden’s need to crack down on supporters of Kurdish self-determination and other activists.
NATO secretary Jens Stoltenberg is continuing to put pressure on Turkey and Hungary to accept Sweden’s application.
Russia’s imperialist expansion into Ukraine has triggered an aggressive response from the western bloc. We can expect to see continued expansion by NATO into other countries in Europe as the fight for resources and influence continues to intensify. Turkey is likely to continue to use its leverage within NATO to squeeze whatever more concessions it can from Sweden in exchange for acceptance of their application.