The threats of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to veto the NATO membership applications of Sweden and Finland has not been received well by members of the United States Congress according to an article by the Washington Post on Thursday.
The Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez was particularly critical, stating that these veto threats fuel wider concerns that Turkey may no longer be a reliable US ally, focusing on other cracks in the relation including the acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system by Turkey and its refusal to join broader Western sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
“I hope the administration is noticing it as they’re considering F-16s,” said Menendez, referring to reports that the Biden administration would support Turkish efforts to upgrade its fleet of F-16 fighter jets, adding that “you should be telling Erdogan you’ve got to act in a different way if you want consideration for anything.”
Others were more conciliatory, with Republican Senator and co-chair of the Senate’s NATO Observer Group Thom Tillis sharing his belief that the issue will be resolved. He also pointed to several “levers” to ensure Turkey complies but stressed that “I do not want to escalate it to that point.”