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Finland’s NATO application approved by Turkey

Finland’s NATO application has already passed the final barrier thanks to Turkey. Sweden continues to wait. 

Finland’s application to join NATO has now been approved by Turkey, ending months of delays; nevertheless, Sweden’s desire to join the military alliance is still being denied. 

On Thursday, the Turkish Parliament passed the final barrier to membership by voting overwhelmingly in favor of Finland’s admission. 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “commitment” to include Finland in the defense alliance was fulfilled by the vote. Hungary has not yet approved Finland’s membership in NATO; Turkey had done so last. 

Finland’s president, Sauli Niinisto, declared in a statement following the vote that his nation is “today prepared to join NATO.” 

“Finland’s membership in NATO has now been approved by all 30 members. He added, “I want to thank each and every one of them for their confidence and assistance. Finland will be a capable and powerful ally who is dedicated to the Alliance’s security. 

The Finnish president continued, “We look forward to welcome Sweden to join us as soon as possible.” 

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, also praised the choice. “I appreciate the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’s decision to ratify Finland’s admission. The entire #NATO family will become stronger and safer as a result, Stoltenberg stated in a tweet. 

For decades, Finland and Sweden pledged not to support NATO in order to avoid upsetting Russia. That all changed, though, once Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his forces into Ukraine and compelled the two Scandinavian nations to reconsider their neutral stance.

The vast majority of NATO nations welcomed their applications and swiftly approved them. But, two nations—Turkey and Hungary—started to obstruct the process. 

As long as a nation is able and willing to follow the principles of the alliance’s founding treaty, it can be asked to join NATO if it indicates interest in doing so. The procedures for accession, however, allow any member state to block a new nation from entering. 

According to Turkish President Erdogan, Finland and Sweden are home to Kurdish “terrorist organizations,” and according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, they are disseminating “outright lies” about the rule of law in his nation. 

Then, Turkey and Hungary changed their minds on Finland’s admission, allowing it to become a member earlier this month. They continue to be opposed to Sweden entering, at least for the time being. 

Monday’s vote in favor of Finland’s application was 182 to 6 in favor in the Hungarian Parliament. Speaking on behalf of the Hungarian government, Zoltán Kovács stated on Wednesday that before Sweden’s application to join NATO is approved by the nation, “an abundant quantity of grievances need to be resolved.” 

Kovács claimed in a blog post that the two nations’ ties “had been worn down over years,” which makes closing the gap more difficult. 

He continued, “We recognize the necessity to make things clear with Sweden in order to move forward.” 

Turkey too seems unwavering in its resistance to Sweden’s admission. Turkey would not ratify Sweden’s NATO membership, according to Erdoan, until Sweden extradites “terrorists” at Turkey’s request. This is clearly not going to happen, and for the time being, the process is stalled. 

With the second-largest military in the alliance, behind the United States, Turkey is a strong NATO member. It is a strategically significant member of the alliance due to its location on the alliance’s southeast flank.

It serves as a protective barrier between the West and a large group of Middle Eastern countries that have a history of political unrest and in which Western states have significant interests. Its influence is increased by the fact that it joined the alliance in 1952, barely three years after it was established. 

Yet, under Erdogan’s leadership, the nation has evolved into a rather problematic member. 

Erdogan and NATO partners have disagreed on a number of subjects, including Syria and Libya. Erdogan also rejected the choice of Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark as NATO’s leader until then-US President Barack Obama promised that one of Rasmussen’s deputy would be a Turk. 

But, Turkey has also profited from its alliance membership in terms of security and political clout.

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