NATO expansion to Finland and Sweden is decided

NATO expansion to Finland and Sweden is decided

The accession protocols necessary for the admission of Sweden and Finland will be signed this Tuesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The morning ceremony (10:00 am) will involve representatives from all 30 Member States. By signing the accession protocols, governments of NATO countries authorize Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to officially invite Sweden and Finland to join.

However, before the protocols can go into effect, they still need to be ratified by states. The national parliament is also normally involved in this procedure. According to estimates, it could take another six to eight months before Finland and Sweden can actually be admitted to the alliance.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and her Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto are expected to be invited to Brussels. In fact, the protocols for the two Nordic countries should have been signed several weeks ago. However, Turkey has blocked the accession process, citing Sweden and Finland’s alleged support of “terrorist organizations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK, the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG and the G├╝len movement as a reason. Only when both countries pledged in writing on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid last week that they would respond to several of Turkey’s demands did Turkey give up its resistance to starting the admissions process.

Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership on May 18 under the impression of the Russian attack on Ukraine. For decades, the two Nordic countries prioritized alliance neutrality.