On August 3, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The vote was 95 to 1, far more than the two-thirds required for approval. This supports expansion in the strategically vital Arctic, which will significantly expand Russia’s borders with NATO members.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an occasional partner with Russia, initially opposed Finland and Sweden. His concerns included the presence in Scandinavia of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units. Turkey’s government strongly opposes such 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]