Turkey wants other concessions, including from Canada
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week tied Sweden's NATO membership to actions it wants from the U.S. and Canadian governments.
Erdogan wants the U.S. Congress to approve the sale of U.S. F-16 fighter jets — and Canada to lift an arms embargo.
"Positive developments from the United States regarding the F-16 issue and Canada keeping its promises will accelerate our parliament's positive view on [Sweden's membership,]" Erdogan said. "All of these are linked."
Canada quietly agreed to reopen talks with Turkey on lifting export controls on drone parts, including optical equipment, after Erdogan signalled in July that Sweden would get the green light from Ankara, Reuters reported.
Canada suspended the export of some drone technology to Turkey in 2020 after concluding the equipment had been used by Azerbaijan's forces fighting Armenia in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Netherlands also previously lifted restrictions on arms deliveries to Turkey.
Erdogan made the comments about the U.S. and Canada Monday while returning from a visit to Hungary, the only other NATO member not to have formally approved Sweden's bid. Hungary has said the country would not be the last to approve membership, though the ruling party has refused to hold a vote on the matter.
WATCH | NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed the organization's military priorities with CBC News in October:
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg joins Rosemary Barton Live to discuss the organization’s military priorities. Defence ministers in several NATO-allied countries have pledged more military aid for Ukraine.
What comes next?
Erdogan submitted a protocol on Sweden's admission to parliament in October, but the ratification process stalled. At a NATO meeting in Brussels in late November, Swedish and U.S. officials said respectively that they had been told Turkey would ratify "within weeks" and by the end of the year.
Whether or not Sweden joins, Putin has already shown with Finland's membership that he sees NATO's expansion as a further provocation.
Finland closed its land border with Russia after seeing an unusually large number of migrants arrive there in November. Finland's foreign minister called it "hybrid warfare," accusing Russia of retaliating against Finland joining NATO by using migrants to cause internal divisions in the country.
Putin has vowed to build up military units near the Russian-Finnish border. The Kremlin leader declared, without giving details, that Helsinki's NATO accession would create "problems" for them.
"There were no problems [between Russia and Finland]. Now, there will be. Because we will create [a new] military district and concentrate certain military units there," he told Russian state television this weekend.
WATCH | Finland closes land border with Russia:
With files from The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC's Murray Brewster