WSJ: US to offer Turkey fighter jets if it approves Finnish & Swedish Nato bids

According to the Wall Street Journal, F-16 fighters would be sold to Turkey if it greenlights Nato membership for Finland and Sweden. Turkey’s foreign minister is to visit Washington next week.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House plans to seek congressional approval for a 20-billion-dollar sale of F-16 jet fighters to Turkey – on the condition that Ankara allows Finland and Sweden to join Nato.

Unanimous approval from all 30 allies is required for the accession of the two Nordic countries. Turkey and Hungary are the sole holdouts, with Budapest promising to seal its approval in February. Turkey has accused the Nordic countries of harbouring Kurdish separatists that it sees as terrorists.

Finland and Sweden together applied to join Nato last May, less than three months after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The deal with Turkey would be paired with a separate sale of next-generation F-35 warplanes to Greece, the paper said late Friday, citing unnamed government sources. According to the WSJ, the condition of the sale would be Turkey’s “acquiescence” on the Nato issue.

Turkish Foreign Minister to visit DC

The White House is expected to send the proposal to Congress next week, around the time of a planned visit to Washington by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

The US has pressured Turkey to participate more forcefully in sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine.

The US Congress has been considering arms sales to Turkey for over a year. The deal would involve a total of 40 fighter jets and, in addition, a large number of missiles and other supplies. The value of the deal would be around 20 billion dollars, or some 18.4 billion euros, making it one of the largest US arms sales in recent years.

In comparison, the price tag for Finland’s purchases of US F-35 fighter jets is estimated to be around 8 billion euros.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the sale of weapons to Turkey may come under criticism in Congress. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, for instance, has opposed selling fighter jets to Turkey because of its human rights record. Congress would have a month to decide on the proposal, the paper said.


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