Turkey Ratifies Sweden’s NATO Membership, Advances Lockheed Martin Fighter Jet Deal

Summary

  • Turkish parliament cleared a major hurdle for the expansion of the Western military alliance by ratifying Sweden’s bid for NATO membership, which had been delayed for 20 months.
  • The pending approval of ratification had been a significant impediment to obtaining congressional approval for a fighter jet deal.
  • Turkey had expressed an interest in purchasing $20 billion worth of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernization kits for existing warplanes in October 2021.
  • Every significant foreign arms sale is reviewed by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees, who commonly question or voice objections over human rights or diplomatic matters.
  • After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO. Though Finland was accepted last year, Sweden’s application was delayed by Turkey and Hungary.

Sweden’s NATO Membership ratification

Turkey’s legislative body ratified Sweden’s bid to join NATO on Tuesday, effectively overcoming a significant obstruction to augmenting the Western military alliance after a 20-month delay. Sent on Wednesday, sources confirmed a letter regarding this, but the administration has yet to formally notify Congress of plans for sale.

Fighter Jet Deal and Parliamentary Approval

The delay in ratification had been a significant roadblock to securing congressional approval for a fighter jet deal. Legislators, including President Tayyip Erdogan, were awaiting its approval before deciding whether to approve the sale.

Turkey’s Lockheed Martin Purchase Request

In October 2021, Turkey requested the purchase of $20 billion worth of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters and approximately 80 modernization kits for its current aircraft.

Foreign Arms Sales Review

Key foreign arms sales are reviewed by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees. These committees usually raise queries or concerns over human rights or diplomatic issues, which can delay or block these agreements.

Sweden and Finland Application for NATO Membership

After Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership. Though Finland’s approval was secured last year, Sweden’s applications were stalled by Turkey and Hungary.

The potential impact on forex or trading of these geopolitical developments could influence the strength of the currencies of the countries involved, such as the Turkish Lira or the Swedish Krona, and could affect the movement of defense-related assets.

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