There have been many twists and turns surrounding Sweden's impending membership in NATO – and these twists and turns continue to cause headaches for the Swedish government.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly procrastinated on approval.
Even Hungary, which along with Turkey is the only NATO country that has not ratified Sweden's request, chose to follow the same path by postponing the vote in the country's parliament.
Theory: Russian gas
Gunilla Herolf, a senior researcher at the Foreign Policy Institute, has a possible theory about what's behind the delay.
In SR's blog post “Gräns”, she pointed out Turkey and Hungary's strong dependence on Russian gas.
She also cites an example from the fall of 2022 when Hungary concluded a favorable new gas agreement with the Russian state, while at the same time receiving praise from Russia for how it handled Sweden's request.
– That Russia is working hard with these countries to prevent Sweden from joining NATO – everyone knows this, says Gunilla Herolf in “Gräns”.
“The number of pressing possibilities”
Turkish expert Paul Levine is on the same path as Herolf. According to him, natural gas plays a very important role for both Türkiye and Hungary.
As for Turkey, Russia has a number of pressure capabilities in addition to natural gas.
It mentions the construction of a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu in Turkey, which Russia ordered and received loans and financing from the nuclear energy company Rosatom.
Turkey's reliance on Russian approval for its military intervention in northern Syria also played a role
-I raised this early on as possible explanations for Türkiye's actions.
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