NATO launches membership ratification of Sweden and Finland

(Brussels) The 30 NATO member states on Tuesday launched the process of ratifying the accession of Sweden and Finland, a historic decision for two Nordic countries dictated by the Russian-led war in Ukraine.

Posted at 6:08 AM

“The signing of accession protocols launches the ratification process in each of the member states,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced, before the ambassadors of the alliance countries initialed these protocols during a ceremony held at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

“At 32, we will be stronger […] At a time when we are facing the most serious security crisis in decades,” he emphasized.

He noted that “after weeks of intense talks about the security concerns represented by Turkey, common ground was reached and the Madrid summit invited both candidates to join NATO.”

However, Turkey made its ratification conditional on compliance with the commitments made by the two Nordic countries to combat terrorism during this summit.

“If they do their duty, we will submit (the memorandum) to the ‘Turkish Parliament for adoption, but if they don’t, we will not be able to send it to Parliament…’,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned.

Turkey is awaiting the extradition of “73 terrorists” to Sweden. The commitment came in a memorandum signed in Madrid between the leaders of the three countries before the summit opened last week.

Ankara has been calling for several years in Stockholm for the extradition of Kurdish activists and people close to the movement founded by preacher Fethullah Gulen, which Turkish authorities accused of instigating the attempted coup in July 2016.

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Turkey did not object to the completion of accession talks and protocols on Monday at NATO headquarters in Brussels with Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde and her Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto.

“We hope that ratification will take place quickly,” the Finnish head of diplomacy said on Tuesday before signing the accession protocols.

“Signing the accession protocols gives us the status of a guest country,” the Swedish minister said.

But the two candidates will not benefit from the protection of Article 5 of the NATO Charter in the event of an attack until the 30 member states ratify their membership.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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