The two Nordic countries announced that Finland and Sweden would jointly file their NATO nominations on Wednesday, despite the lingering shadow. A ban by Turkey. With more than 95% of the green light from the Finnish parliament, the coalition headquarters in Brussels is now ready for simultaneous membership applications from both countries.
These will be handed over by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg by the Swedish and Finnish ambassadors at 8am on Wednesday, Finnish representatives said on Tuesday evening.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson told Finnish President Saul Ninisto, who was on a state visit to Stockholm, “I’m glad we went down the same path and we can do it together.” The White House has announced that the Nordic duo will travel to Washington on Thursday to meet with US President Joe Biden.
Turkish defense threat
Although Vladimir Putin appeared to be dumb on Monday to Russian threats of retaliation for the Franco-Finnish membership, the main obstacle now seems to be coming from within the coalition.
Turkey, like the other 30 members of NATO, reaffirmed its opposition to the entry of Sweden and Finland on Monday, despite diplomatic discussions over the weekend. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara is “not included”, accusing Sweden of being a “nursery of terrorist organizations” and accusing him of imposing sanctions on his country.
Analysts believe that Turkey is definitely looking for rivals in exchange for its green light, for example, to eliminate the US refusal to sell the powerful US warplane F-35s. Ankara has particularly criticized Sweden and Finland for not recognizing demands for the deportation of people accused of being members of “terrorist organizations” such as the Kurdish PKK or of blocking arms exports to Turkey.
A process of several months
Finland and Sweden’s candidates continued to take action on Tuesday as a direct result of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. At the end of the two-day parliamentary session, the Finnish parliament voted 188 in favor, eight against and no.
After a remarkable development in favor of public opinion, Sweden and Finland consider it necessary to position themselves under the umbrella of NATO in the face of Russia, which is capable of militarily occupying one of its neighbors. Both countries will remain neutral for decades and then shift the side of military non-alignment.
Faced with the threat of Russian retaliation, Sweden and Finland have in recent weeks demanded security guarantees from their Nordic neighbors and key NATO powers. Coalition members benefit only from the popular 5th Amendment, mutual protection, not candidates.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholes on Tuesday promised that his country would “intensify” its military cooperation with the two Nordic countries. Joining NATO requires parliamentary approval by 30 members of the coalition, usually several months. Sweden expects the process to take a maximum of one year.
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