Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu: Finland should allow the export of weapons to Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu Finland should allow the export of

Turkey raised its demands during the visit of Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen (center) to Turkey. Kaikkonen will meet his colleague Hulusi Akari in Ankara the day after tomorrow, Thursday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu according to which Finland must end the ban on arms exports to Turkey so that Turkey can ratify Finland’s NATO membership application.

Despite Çavuşoğlu’s comments, Finland does not actually have a formal arms export ban to Turkey. Finland tightened its policy on the export of weapons and defense equipment to Turkey in October 2019, when Turkey attacked the Kurdish areas of Syria. Rather, it has been a question of interruption in the trade.

Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen (center) meets his colleague Hulusi Akari In the capital of Turkey, Ankara, the day after tomorrow, Thursday.

Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu describes Kaikkonen’s visit as an important step.

– Since Finland has not announced that it has ended the arms export ban, we are waiting for an explanation from them, Çavuşoğlu stated at a press conference on Tuesday.

Defense Minister Akar, on the other hand, demands the Turkish state news agency According to Anadolu Agency (you will switch to another service) “Concrete actions” from Finland and Sweden so that Turkey can ratify the countries’ membership applications.

The suspension of arms exports is an expected stone in the cart

Already in the spring, it was estimated that suspending the export of weapons and defense equipment might be a stone in Turkey’s shoe in Finland’s NATO process. In addition to allowing the sale of weapons, Turkey has especially demanded from Sweden in recent months the return of dozens of Kurds it considers terrorists to Turkey.

Finland has not granted new arms export licenses to Turkey since October 2019. For example, last year Finland gave a negative decision on the export of protection steel to Turkey. The matter appears in the defense equipment of the Defense Forces from the export report (you will switch to another service).

The Turkish Foreign Minister met with his counterpart Pekka Haaviston (green) in August in Helsinki. According to Çavuşoğlu, it was brought up in the meeting that Finland will continue the suspension it started in the fall of 2019.

– This restriction must be repealed, Çavuşoğlu demanded on Tuesday.

Sweden already announced at the end of September that it would allow arms exports to Turkey again. Also in the case of Sweden, Turkey was not under the actual arms export embargo, but trade was suspended.

In September, the authority that assesses the export of military equipment (ISP) in Sweden stated that there are no obstacles to the delivery of, for example, electronics, software or technical support to Turkey.

Turkey and Hungary are the only NATO member countries that have not yet ratified the NATO membership applications of Finland and Sweden. Hungary has said that it will ratify the membership applications at the beginning of February. Turkey has not given a timetable for its own ratification.

Source: Reuters, AFP