Sweden and Finland are close to joining NATO as member states sign accession protocols

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Sweden and Finland moved closer to joining NATO on Tuesday, as the ambassadors of the 30 member states signed accession protocols for two northern countries to join the alliance.

“It is truly a historic moment. For Finland, Sweden, NATO and our common security,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said of the alliance’s most significant expansion in decades.

The legislative bodies of each country must Now agree to Sweden and Finland bids, a process that could take months.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, front row left, pose with other leaders for a group photo during the NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday, June 29 . , 2022.
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Canada was the first country Outside the gates to ratify accession protocols, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on allies to “move quickly to complete ratifications to reduce opportunities for adversaries to intervene”.

Sweden and Finland applied for membership in May, but their accession appeared to hit a snag when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded the two countries hand over members of a Kurdish rebel group that Turkey considers terrorists.

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The Three countries reached a common agreement Last week, which Sweden and Finland on Tuesday promised to support.

“We will fully respect the memorandum. Of course there are no lists or anything like that in the memo, but what we will do is have better cooperation when it comes to terrorists,” Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde said in a press release. conspiracy.

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Erdogan then warned The agreement was signed that the Turkish parliament would not approve the accession protocols unless the Nordic countries “perform their duties”.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February prompted historically neutral Sweden and Finland to apply for NATO membership. If approved, Russia’s border with NATO countries will more than double.

Assocaited Press contributed to this report.

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