NATO launches ratification process for Sweden and Finland’s membership in wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The move will further increase Russia’s strategic isolation in the wake of its invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February and military struggles there since.
The 30 NATO allies signed off on the accession protocols for the two countries on Tuesday.
It follows last week’s NATO Summit in Madrid when the alliance made the historic decision to invite Russia’s neighbour Finland and Scandinavian partner Sweden to join the military club.
‘This is a good day for Finland and Sweden and a good day for NATO,’ the military alliance’s chief Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in a joint press statement with the Swedish and Finnish foreign ministers.
‘With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger and our people will be even safer as we face the biggest security crisis in decades,’ he added.
NATO today launched the ratification process for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance as members
Despite the agreement in the alliance, parliamentary approval in member state Turkey could still pose problems for their final inclusion as members.
Last week, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Ankara could still block the process if the two countries fail to fully meet Turkey’s demand to extradite terror suspects with links to outlawed Kurdish groups or the network of an exiled cleric accused of a failed 2016 coup in Turkey.
He said Turkey’s Parliament could refuse to ratify the deal.
It is a potent threat since Nato accession must be formally approved by all 30 member states, which gives each a blocking right.
Tuesday’s expected signing-off does bring both nations deeper into Nato’s fold already.
As close partners, they have already attended some meetings that involved issues that immediately affected them.
As official invitees, they can attend all meetings of the ambassadors even if they do not yet have any voting rights.
This is a breaking news story, more to follow…