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tv   France 24  LINKTV  May 18, 2022 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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♪ >> this is al jazeera and these are the top stories. dozens have been injured at a funeral in occupied east jerusalem after israeli police attacked mourners. a 23-year-old man who was injured during the storm on the mosque last month died saturday. soldiers defending kharkiv have reached the border with russia. there was a video released of the border, it has not been independently verified, the ukrainian president thanks
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troops and khaki events as the nation owes them a debt of gratitude. north korea is scrambling to deal with a covid outbreak. the government reporting six new deaths and 270,000 people have you are like symptoms. health officials say 62 people have died since late april. kim jong-un has blamed health officials for being irresponsible. president biden has approved the deployment of american troops to somalia following the era -- election of a new president as somalia faces more attacks from a armed group. allies of the president are likely to lose in lebanon, this is the first one since the beirut explosion. the news continues after inside story. goodbye. ♪
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♪ >> will finland and sweden joining nato make europe safer despite warnings from russia both countries made the decision after the invasion of ukraine. how will the kremlin respond? this is inside story. ♪ hello and welcome to the program. finland and sweden decided against joining nato for many years. both have a history of remaining neutral during wars and staying out of military alliances. that changed when russia invaded
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ukraine. leaders of the nordic nations framed vladimir putin for endangering security in europe. finland, this could mean bandits think -- abandoning the policy with the neighbor. the kremlin says it could send more troops to the 1300 kilometer order with finland, but becoming a member of the western military alliance is not guaranteed, reporting from berlin. >> finland and sweden will be warmly welcomed into the nato military alliance was the message from all nato foreign ministers at a meeting in berlin except for one. techie made objections, saying nordic nations are hosting terrorist organizations, pointing among others and the workers party. >> i'm a bit confused because i had a telephone discussion with president erdogan approximately a proximally a month ago and he
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took up himself before have the possibility to do that, that you are applying for nato membership. and we will assess it favorable. i thanked him and he was pleased to receive my thanks. >> for turkey, there was nothing confusing about this demand. >> they need to stop supporting terrorist organizations. a defense industry restriction over prohibition of exports and allies with turkey should be lifted. i'm not saying this is a bargaining chip, i'm saying it is a requirement of alliance. >> the russian president has called the possible expansion of nato a threat. finland joining would double the border between nato and russia. the nato minister has himself to blame -- nato ministers say
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putin has himself to blame after invading ukraine, and the conflict with turkey will result soon. >> i heard almost across the board strong support for finland and nato joining -- and linda sweden joining the nato alliance they choose to. i'm confident. >> all of the nato states have to approve new members, which normally takes months. ministers in berlin to speed this up to prevent the so-called great -- great period in which they would not be protected, which says an attack on one is an attack on all. as soon as finland and sweden applied for nato membership, it was expected the process would be swift, but the turkey position may have slowed it down. no one can say when they were -- will be added to the collection. >> sweden and finland have been nato partners since 1994 and have taken part in several nato missions since the end of the
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cold war. what's look what they need to be full members. nato candidates must be democracies, have an open market economy and be able to contribute militarily to the alliance. finland and sweden check those boxes, have strong militaries and sweden is a major supplier of weapons. once the application goes through, parliament of all 30 nato countries need to approve new members. finland says it needs the nato target of spending 2% of its gdp on defense. sweden expects to reach that by 2028. let's go ahead and bring in our guests, in helsinki, owen mcnamara, visiting research fellow at the finnish institute of international affairs. in brussels, teresa fallon, director of center for russia, europe asia studies. and a defense and military analyst, a warm welcome to all, thank you for joining us on inside story. let me start with you, teresa.
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will finland and sweden joining nato make europe safer? >> this has been a long time coming. russia's invasion of ukraine has been a hinge moment. sweden has been neutral for 200 years and this is a huge change for finland as well. i think this will fill the vacuum in the area and the baltics will feel safer, there was a conference in estonia and everyone was dancing for joy about this. there is a small issue with turkey but overall, sweden. looking forward, also arctic security will be tied up with with the baltics as well. this is for everybody and it shows how angry the public was with the brutality of what is going on any pain. daily news about russian soldiers brutalizing civilians,
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something just turned a switch in these countries that were traditionally neutral, but they needed to join nato and it was not good enough just to be a partner. they needed article five to feel safe. >> teresa was talking about how historic this is, the countries that have been neutral would now want to join nato. from your perspective, if sweden and finland to join nato, how significant a redrawing of europe's security map would it constitute? >> it certainly is historic, but whether it is all that, such a big thing, it is and it isn't. finland and sweden both joined the european union in 1995. they have been politically aligned since then with the european union and the west. they have just not been militarily aligned they have been cooperating closely with nato for many years. they are as good as nato members
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in terms of military operability and the political situation awareness with the alliance. they are as good as nato numbers without article five guarantees. this adds an extra layer, which would give them nato's collective defense and access to nato's nuclear deterrence so there never again alone to face down russian aggression like we have seen in ukraine. it would certainly redraw the map of european security, but particularly in northern europe. it would make things crystal clear with nato's contingency planning in the region, and this is good news not just for societies in finland and sweden, but for all of the other nato nations around the baltic sea, other nordic states, iceland, norway and denmark, but also the baltic states and poland. >> russia has says it finland
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and sweden joining nato is a serious mistake and would have far-reaching consequences, that both countries should not assume moscow would not respond. what kind of response or retaliation would be expected? >> moscow does not like this at all and has been vocal and said this is a wrong move and decrease security in europe and for the nordic nations. the russian foreign minister was talking about possible military technical countermeasures, the kremlin took a softer approach, which actually i think they called for the russian policies a sanctuary of the russian czar. so the kremlin said this will depend what happens there and today, on monday the 16th of
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may, president putin said we don't have any problems with sweden or finland and them joining nato is not much of a problem. >> from your vantage point, how do you think the kremlin might respond? >> it is difficult to predict what is in president putin's mind. i think he has enough on his plate right now with ukraine. finland has already experienced cyber attacks when they announced they were contemplating joining nato. so there has been a lot of saber rattling toward finland and sweden, but they have made their own calculations and decided to join the club. >> comes to finland, do you think this decision means country is going to abandon its policy of porting competition with russia -- confrontation with russia? >> i don't.
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i think it can so the preserved within nato. but the view from helsinki is that russia has overstretched itself, it is the view of most military analysts in ukraine. it is unlikely to pose much threat despite the saber rattling right now to finland and sweden and from the northern military district. but nordic societies are all about the long term, stretching out prosperity for as long as possible, the next generation. and social development. sustainability of the nordic model. all that needs to be secured. so we don't know in five or 10 years how russia look, whether russia will be more aggressive, even more aggressive than now, or whether it will have gotten a bloody nose in ukraine and will have decided to mend its fences
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with the west and tribe integration, we just don't know. the northern states, finland and sweden don't know either. soak tomato membership is to lock down their prosperity, lockdown their social progress for the long-term. it is not really about the short-term, even though, as teresa has said, a switch has flipped. but it is for the long-term -- with a long-term outlook. if that is not too paradoxical. so part of that -- if i could just briefly refine this to your question, obviously in the long term picture, finland and sweden populations are angry right now. but if russia wants to real dutch wheel back from aggression, states will keep the door open and the channel for dialogue open to talk russia out
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of some of its brutal aggression we are seeing in ukraine right now. >> despite what russia might be saying publicly, how concerned is moscow about the possibility of finland and sweden joining nato? >> there is a practical thing russia cannot deal at the same time with ukraine and the expansion of finland and sweden joining nato. there's simply not enough capability for all of those talk about military technical measures being taken. not much can be taken, the conventional capabilities are used right now and brandishing for nuclear, yes it is there, but it has always been there so not much russia can do. that is why monday the 16th of may was very soft.
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he said we don't have a problem with these countries if they joined nato it does not change anything much, the formality of joining. but later if there is america because russia is really zeroing in on the kremlin on america and the standoff with the united states and nato, as putin says is an american weapon aimed at russia. so an american missile and other infrastructure appearing in finland and sweden means russia will react. again if it has the capability and deals with ukraine or doesn't deal with ukraine. so that is postponing to the future now. russia will not really do anything drastic. there was some fear expressed especially in finland. thought russia could use this gray. when finland -- period when
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finland has applied but it does not have the formality of the article five guarantees that russia could make a move. but that is not happening. russia simply does not have the capability to do that right now. even if it did want to, but apparently it doesn't want to write out. right now it is not going further than rhetoric. >> turkey has expressed reservations about finland and sweden joining nato. they have objections and they have laid out demands. i want to ask, from your perspective, is this something that will present a major hiccup when it comes to the accession of finland and sweden tomato, will it delay things or will everyone be able to get past this? >> in brussels, and a lot of people are surprised by this. security is such an important issue that all of these conversations happened. the prime minister of finland
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noted they spoke to turkey back in april and they said they would support finland joining nato. everyone has been taken aback by his sin it is not something you can mess around with. if you assert that you are going to join nato and that a country blocks your membership because nato, you need unanimity, all members must agree so turkey is forcing them to twist in the wind. many leaders said this is something that will be required conversation, that this is nothing to be concerned about. but i think it sends a message to my mind from turkey that there may be -- they might be easing this as an opportunity to use a leverage and get what they want. but i think as lie -- it is not the smart's move. there have been moves, the turkish drones they had been
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supplying to ukraine. the turkish president maybe overplayed his hands but maybe everything can be smoothed over, maybe there's a misunderstanding but security issues and defense issues are a serious that are serious and this horsetrading should not be done public. >> is being reported that turkey's objections focus on what it considers to be both finland and sweden's leniency toward the kurdistan workers party, the pkk which they consider a terrorist organization. is there concern in finland right now that this could delay things and be a major hiccup? >> it is true that there is some sympathy toward the pkk from some sections of the finnish and swedish political systems. but not all.
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we have seen a trick like this pulled before by president erdogan just before nato's 70th anniversary meeting in london in december of 2019. there was a lot where he tried to do the same thing unless nato recognize them as terrorists, he would block provisions and enhance -- for the baltic states in poland. he is making a point that he is not happy about the lay of the land regarding other perceptions of the pkk within nato, that he is a strong mend as he always projects himself, but there is often a lot of diplomacy taking place behind the scenes. he was talked down in 2019 and the move in stockholm and helsinki is that they have enough and there is enough within the alliance to talk them down the sign as well.
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everyone -- erdogan and turkey are quite isolated. it is fortunate for western strategic influence in ukraine as teresa mentioned, but it is not in his interest to be isolated in nato, either. he has to make a choice. >> if i could follow up with you, if things are able to get back on track, things are able to be smoothed over when it comes to turkey's objections, how long might the accession to nato take when it comes to finland and sweden? >> what we are looking at now in the next week or two, we are looking at finland and sweden filing application for nato membership. it is likely then that finland and sweden would be issued an invitation to join nato at the madrid summit in june, and depending on procedures and parliamentary protocols, because
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nato is a consensus, all 30 member states have to agree, there is no time limit on this. but the most ambitious or fast tracked perception on this is that it could take as little as four months june and weiner estimates stretch that to 18 months. four to 18 months seems to be the range for membership ratification. >> one reason praise p -- president putin is opposed to ukraine joining nato as he did not want them on the border but finland has a 1300 kilometer rent -- land border with russia, sweden has a maritime border with russia. did president putin think things would go this far, that he could be confronted with the possibility of nato getting to
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russia's border in this way? my best -- >> it was a surprise because the relationship with helsinki was considered privileged since the soviet times. since after world war ii when finland joined the cold war and was basically a russian soviet protectorate. it was believed in moscow that was going for moscow and for the fins. the people have a different recollection of those times. they don't like them and the finnish military, they have asked the swedish military there all of the time -- for all of the time they were thinking about defending against motion soviet troops. they were neutral but not prepared to fight anyone else. so there are different perceptions in moscow and in those countries of what is --
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what they should do and how they can react. it is important to notice that for russia, ukraine, and for putin ukraine is very special. he has said that ukrainians and russians are the same people, one folk, and they should be together and pulling ukraine away from russia is splitting, there would be a historical russian nation. finland was once part of the russian empire but no one in moscow considers fins to be russian. it is a different tactic. nato had in the beginning of the 2000s taken in the baltic states , they have a border with social -- russia and are closer to moscow than finland. that does not change much in the
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strategic outlook. the russian military, the russian general staff will surely be saying this is a big threat, that they need more money from the budget and should build new bases, they needed new weapons. they will be playing up the start. >> on touch on this in an earlier answer, the fact that finland and sweden broke stretch neutrality when they joined the eu and became orders to nato in the 90's. from your perspective, what they have joined nato at some point anyway, or was joining nato a nonstarter until russia invaded ukraine? >> they have had a careful balancing act and carefully cultivated neutrality. finland has different neutrality compared to sweden, but sweden is two centuries, putin's actions in ukraine have upset their calculus. they realize they cannot be safe at this partnership level with
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nato and the only thing that will keep their civilians safe, it's about 77% of the population wants them to join nato, this is unheard of, and they want to do it together because finland and sweden are partners in all of this. most analysts assume sweden would be first and finland would follow, but finland is really leading and sweden is joining them. it looks like they will be a joint application. i think this shows that this is a hinge point in history. countries got dressed up for two centuries were able to remain neutral to have a good relationship with russia have recalculated because of the horrific war in ukraine. they see the brutality of russian soldiers so they want more safety and this is why they are joining nato. the whole region, you asked about the strategic landscape has changed dramatically should this go through. some people have described it as
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a nato lake, the baltic. so you increase that in an area that was a vacuum for security. this will change dramatically and i think this is going to be very hard to explain to the public, that instead of pushing back on nato, it has two new members. >> we have run out of time and we will have to leave the conversation there, q-tip -- thank you to our guests. thank you for watching, you can see the program by visiting our website, aljazeera.com and on facebook, facebook.com/ajinsid estory. also on twiter, @ajinsidestory . bye for nwo. -- now. ♪q
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