Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has, once again, placed a condition on the country’s ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership, demanding a simultaneous approval from the US Congress for its request to acquire F-16 fighter jets.

This latest move showcases the intricate negotiations within NATO and the complex geopolitical landscape that influences alliance decisions. Let’s take a closer look.

Sweden and Finland’s Shift Towards NATO

Sweden and Finland’s rapid shift from a long-standing non-alignment stance to seeking nuclear protection within the US-led defense organization came as a direct response to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine last year.

While their bids for NATO membership received swift approval from all members except Turkey and Hungary, both latter nations eventually relented, welcoming Finland into the alliance this year.

Erdogan’s Conditions and NATO Dynamics

Erdogan’s earlier objections to Sweden’s NATO membership eased after Stockholm took measures aimed at addressing Turkish concerns regarding Kurdish groups labeled as terrorists by Ankara.