Sweden Lifts Unofficial Defense Products Embargo on Turkey

This decision comes after Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee approved Sweden's bid to join NATO on December 26
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 12:58 PM, December 27, 2023
  • 710
Sweden Lifts Unofficial Defense Products Embargo on Turkey
Gripen E fighter

Sweden has unofficially lifted its defense products embargo on Turkey, marking the end of a strained period.

The decision comes after the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee approved Sweden's bid to join NATO on Tuesday.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Burak Akçapar, in a statement to the Turkish Grand National Assembly during the NATO membership vote, revealed the latest development. "Sweden lifted the embargo on Turkey's defense industry products. After the process (NATO membership) started, the applications made by Turkish companies were concluded positively," he announced.

Sweden's approval of export permits for Turkey includes military equipment such as electronic components, software, and technical assistance. This decision comes as Turkey engages in discussions with the United Kingdom and the United States for the procurement of warplanes, prompting speculation about the possibility of acquiring Gripen warplanes from Sweden.

Concerns have been raised about the export of Gripen fighter jets, given their reliance on components, including the engine, from the United States. It is anticipated that U.S. approval may be required for the export of Gripen jets, even if Sweden grants permission.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed optimism, stating, "Sweden's membership will make NATO stronger." The next step in the process is a vote in the Turkish parliament's general assembly, where a majority is expected to favor the ratification of Sweden's NATO membership.

While Turkey had delayed the ratification for more than a year, citing concerns about Sweden's approach to security threats, recent steps, including the lifting of defense industry restrictions, have addressed some of Turkey's demands. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström welcomed the committee's decision and expressed eagerness to join NATO.

Despite these positive developments, the final ratification of Sweden's NATO membership still awaits approval by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Additionally, Sweden's membership bid is linked to U.S. approval of F-16 fighter jet sales to Turkey, adding another layer of complexity to the diplomatic process.

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