NATO in Spain while Turkey blocking Nordic accession bids

NATO summit to open in Spain with focus on Russia and China while Turkey blocking Nordic accession bids

Also on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to meet with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto to discuss the stalled Swedish and Finnish bids to join the alliance.

Erdogan is currently blocking both bids over accusations that the two Nordic countries are supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the YPG, a Kurdish militia based in Syria.

Ankara, which has at times engaged in armed conflict with Kurdish independence movements, has classified both as terrorist groups.

Sweden and Finland have disputed Erdogan’s claims. After decades of demurring, both countries are seeking NATO membership over concerns about Russia aggression.

The alliance is expected to announce increased troop numbers in at its eastern borders, as well as more aid for Ukraine. Leaders from Asia and Oceania were also invited to address concerns about rising Chinese influence.