NATO countries formally sign the accession of Sweden and Finland | Currently

On Tuesday, NATO countries formally signed the accession of Sweden and Finland to the military alliance. This means that from now on potential members can participate in the discussion, but they cannot vote yet.

Sweden and Finland began talks on Monday to prepare them for membership. For the former nominated members, this process took several months, but is now completed in a day. This is because the two countries have been working closely with NATO for years.

“This is truly a historic moment for Finland, Sweden, NATO and our common security,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at the signing ceremony. Outgoing Ambassador Marissa Gerards signed on behalf of the Netherlands. Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) talks about a “fundamental step for our security”.

According to Hoekstra, joining NATO means that the Netherlands will also become more secure, because “two allies from the European Union that are very important to the Netherlands are now also joining NATO.” According to Hoekstra, Finland and Sweden are two countries that “arrange their military affairs”.

Actual joining will take months

The two aspiring members now need the approval of the parliaments of most of the 30 member states. The so-called ratification is expected to take several months. The Dutch Cabinet sends the associated bill to the Council of State for urgent advice. This advice is expected to be finalized on Thursday, after which the bill will be sent to the House and Senate. Hoekstra hopes that both councils will begin treatment soon.

Sweden and Finland cannot yet count on NATO protection. However, both countries have received security guarantees from several countries. The United States, United Kingdom, Germany and other Scandinavian NATO countries, among others, pledged to assist Sweden and Finland in the event of an attack.

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Turkey decided last week at the NATO summit in Madrid that it would no longer oppose the membership of Sweden and Finland. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that Turkey would continue to frustrate the two countries’ accession if, in his opinion, they did not fulfill their adequate obligations regarding, for example, dealing with the Kurdish resistance movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Megan Vasquez

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