US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in Lulea, Sweden where he will co-chair the fourth meeting of the
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in Lulea, Sweden where he will co-chair the fourth meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, before heading to Norway for an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
The last stop of the week-long trip to the Nordic countries will be Finland, where Blinken will discuss security issues related to the war in Ukraine with America’s newest NATO ally.In Sweden, Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström to address the delays in its accession to NATO. Though the US hopes Sweden will finally join the alliance this summer, Hungary and Turkey are still blocking its accession.While the Hungarian government cites Sweden’s criticism of democratic backsliding in Hungary, tensions between Sweden and Turkey over the former’s stance on Kurdish militant groups and refugees are the main source of opposition to the NATO bid.
The general belief is that Erdogan’s opposition is a political ploy, meant to increase his political capital ahead of yesterday´s presidential election. It is likely that given his victory, the Turkish president may be more willing to negotiate and accept fewer economic and political concessions from Sweden.