1657026313 The 30 NATO countries sign the accession of Sweden and

The 30 NATO countries sign the accession of Sweden and Finland

The 30 NATO countries sign the accession of Sweden and

Finland and Sweden are now officially one step away from joining NATO after the ambassadors of the 30 Atlantic Alliance countries signed the two countries’ accession protocols on Tuesday. The law was formalized at that organization’s headquarters in Brussels, just a week after Turkey lifted its veto on the two countries’ accession during the recent Madrid summit. At this point, there is only one final link to complete the ninth expansion of NATO, which has traveled on the ultra-fast track, emboldened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The final milestone will require ratification of the protocols in each of the 30 allied countries, which could take months but shouldn’t pose a problem in principle.

“It is a historic day for Finland, for Sweden, for NATO and for Euro-Atlantic security,” said the Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a post-signing appearance, recalling that the armed forces of both countries and the Alliance are interoperable and have trained and served together for years. “We share the same values ​​and face the same challenges in the Baltic Sea and beyond,” Stoltenberg continued. “Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has broken the peace in Europe. So it’s important that we all stick together at this dangerous time in our history.”

Helsinki and Stockholm, which now officially enjoy candidate status, submitted their application to join NATO almost seven weeks ago, on May 18th. According to the Secretary General, both have so far covered the fastest path to accession in the history of this organization. But ratification in the national parliaments of each of the 30 allied countries could still take “months”, he said. “Different countries have different procedures,” Stoltenberg said, wanting to be “cautious” about accurately predicting the pace of accession. “But we saw that many allies were preparing,” he added. “Many parliaments have agreed to do this very quickly.” The last accession (that of North Macedonia in 2020) took about 12 months, it’s done. But that was in peacetime.

Turkish claims

On this occasion only Turkey seems able to blast the process if at any point it senses that Sweden and Finland are not respecting the terms of the agreement reached between the three in Madrid. Ankara’s lifting of the veto was forged in the hours leading up to the summit in the Spanish capital, with the signing of a trilateral memorandum of understanding that addresses the Eurasian country’s key concerns in the fight against terrorism (such as recognizing the Kurdish PKK as a terrorist organization or the readiness of Helsinki and Stockholm to work on the extradition of terrorists) and also with regard to arms exports (lifting of the embargo on Turkey).

“I hope that the three countries Sweden, Finland and Turkey will see that this is a good memorandum that will lead to the Turkish parliament feeling that it can ratify our agreement,” said the Swedish speaker who appeared alongside him Foreign Minister Ann Linde Pekka Haavisto, his Finnish counterpart, and Stoltenberg.

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“In this document,” Haavisto continued, “we really addressed every concern that Turkey has raised, including terrorism, the PKK issue and so on. […] Therefore, I am convinced that we can move forward on the basis of the agreed cooperation and hopefully we can meet Turkey’s concerns at this point in time.” The Finn, echoing Ankara, also wanted to remind that his country has accepted Turkey’s candidacy for the European Union supported.

Haavisto thanked allies for their support and expressed readiness to work as a candidate country this Tuesday. “We are ready to work together with our NATO allies to protect our secure and prosperous Euro-Atlantic region,” announced the Finn. “Together we are stronger in upholding the rules-based international order and the principles of democracy, liberty and the rule of law.” The Swedish minister has stressed the “overwhelming popular and political support” for the decision to join the alliance and demonstrated her country’s willingness to fight “shoulder to shoulder” for the defense of the Atlantic. “We believe that Sweden joining NATO is the best way to ensure our national security and protect the Swedes.”

This Tuesday’s law represents a further step towards enlargement, following the Madrid Summit declaration. This document welcomes NATO’s “open door” policy and expresses the “importance that the legitimate security concerns of all Allies are duly addressed”. , referring to Turkey. “We welcome the conclusion of the trilateral memorandum on this matter between Turkey, Finland and Sweden,” adds the text, which emphasizes how the accession of these two countries “will make them more secure, NATO stronger and the Euro-Atlantic zone more secure.” This security is crucial “also during the accession process”.

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