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US approves F-16s for Turkey, moving Sweden NATO membership closer
Turkey's ratification makes Sweden one step closer to NATO | Europe In :60

US approves F-16s for Turkey, moving Sweden NATO membership closer

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Stockholm.

How are things proceeding with the ratification of the Swedish membership in NATO?

Well, it’s been some back and forth. But now Turkey has ratified and that is important. That has to do with also the agreement with the US on deliveries of F-16s and modification kits of F-16s and deliveries of F-35s to Greece. A major package has been negotiated, so that should be okay. Now, remaining with Hungary. Prime Minister Orban is a slightly unpredictable fellow, but I would guess that he can't hold off for very long. So I would hope, expect this process to be wrapped up within a couple of weeks.

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FILE PHOTO: A Turkish F-16 pilot taxis past another Turkish Air Force F-16 at the 3rd Main Jet Air Base in central Turkey's city of Konya.

REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkey gets F-16s, Greece gets F-35s, and Sweden gets one step closer to NATO

Alliances involve a delicate dance. Turkey’s parliament formally approved Sweden’s entry into NATO last week, finally removing the biggest impediment to Stockholm’s accession. In exchange, the US State Department has notified Congress it will now approve the sale of 40 F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, plus kits to modernize Ankara's existing “Vipers.” Not a bad deal, but Turkey really wants what its rivals/allies across the Aegean are getting: the F-35.

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Ukraine's Deputy of Defence Minister Hanna Maliar addresses during a media briefing of the Security and Defense Forces of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine on 13 April 2023, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine.

STR/NurPhoto via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Ukraine’s housecleaning continues, China outdoes itself over Taiwan, California sues Big Oil, US loses its wings, Nobody gets to see Cristiano Ronaldo play in Iran

6: The big fall cleaning at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense continues, as President Zelensky fired six deputy ministers over the weekend. No reason was given, but the move comes just weeks after his office sacked the Defense Minister on allegations of corruption.

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