Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg during the NATO Conference in Madrid on 28 June 2022. A handshake of betrayal, as Turkey accepted Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership.

One wonders, what forces have influenced Erdogan to distance himself from Russia in particular and the East in general when accepting NATO membership of the two Nordic countries against the interests of Russia.  

Moscow accused Norway on Wednesday of blocking the transit of goods to Russians living in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and threatened Oslo with retaliation.

© JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFPA sign in Russian reading 'Communism is our goal' in front of a building with Russian flags, in Barentsburg, on the Svalbard Archipelago, northern Norway, May 7, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the US-led NATO bloc to ramp up support of his country amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, claiming that Kiev’s defeat would result in a “delayed” war between Moscow and the whole West. Zelensky made the remarks as he addressed the NATO summit in Madrid via a video link on Wednesday.

“It’s either urgent aid to Ukraine sufficient for victory, or a delayed war between Russia and you,” Zelensky told NATO leaders.

Finland borders Russia and Sweden borders Finland as well as encircles Russian ports. Under the NATO treaty, if one member is attacked, it is viewed as an attack on all members, and therefore an act of war against all of the member nations. Until now, Finland and Sweden have remained neutral, and Russia has been content with that.

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Turkey will stop its opposition to Sweden and Finland's access to the NATO alliance, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto announced on Tuesday following a discussion between leaders.

The three countries’ foreign ministers signed a trilateral memorandum that established Turkey will back their endeavor to the alliance this week during NATO’s Madrid Summit. Earlier on Tuesday, Niinisto, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson met together in a conversation that was facilitated by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday that increases in military spending and rising numbers of troop deployments in Eastern Europe since 2014 were carried out in anticipation of a conflict with Russia.

Speaking after a meeting of NATO members and partner states in Madrid, Stoltenberg accused Russia of “using force in the eastern Donbass since 2014,” despite the fact that Kiev’s forces have shelled cities in the region ever since the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics declared independence from Ukraine that year.

An interview with The Critical Hour yesterday provided an opportunity to add some important NATO-related reporting that has been pretty much overlooked in the corporate media. Some of that detail, with my comments, are offered below.