Turkey approves Finland’s NATO membership after months of suspense

Turkey approved Thursday, March 30, after ten months of suspense, the accession of Finland to NATO, the last country of the Alliance to give the green light after that of Hungary.

After a brief debate, during which they acknowledged the “Finland’s legitimate security concerns”the Turkish deputies voted unanimously by the 276 deputies present for the entry of this small Nordic country into the Atlantic Alliance, while Sweden is still at the door.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hailed the ratification, saying it would make “the stronger and safer NATO family”.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö meanwhile “thank you all [les Etats membres] for their trust and support.wishing entry ” as soon as possible “ from Sweden.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the lifting of his veto on March 17 when he received Sauli Niinistö in Ankara, a decision immediately welcomed by the Atlantic Alliance. The Turkish parliamentary foreign affairs committee had approved this membership last week.

Finland now only has to send its « instruments de ratification » in Washington, where the Treaty of the Alliance is kept.

Sweden's membership still blocked

The Hungarian parliament also approved, on Monday, the accession of Finland but also blocks that of Sweden. The applications for membership of the two Nordic countries had however been submitted together last year after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and required the unanimity of the member countries of NATO to be approved.

The Finnish President had expressed his " hope " ratification before the Turkish presidential and legislative elections scheduled for May 14, with Parliament having to suspend its work about a month before the double ballot takes place.

Finland, subject to forced neutrality by Moscow after its war with the Soviet Union in World War II, shares the longest European border (1,340) with Russia, behind Ukraine.

"The most important thing is that Finland and Sweden quickly become full members of NATO, not that they join at the same time"had estimated Jens Stoltenberg.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is still blocking the enlargement of NATO to Sweden by reproaching him for his passivity in the face of the presence of "terrorists" Kurds welcomed on its soil and calls for extraditions on which the government does not have the last word.

A deputy of the pro-Kurdish HDP party, the third political force in the country, Hisyar Ozsoy, moreover denounced during the debate before the vote "horrible blackmail" of the Turkish government on the two candidate countries.

Menaces du Kremlin

The Kremlin, which at first seemed to play down the importance of the candidacies of Finland and Sweden, has hardened its tone in recent weeks, estimating on Tuesday that the two countries would, once admitted into NATO, become “legitimate targets” of "retaliations from Moscow"including "military".

Sweden had, in the wake of Wednesday, announced the summons of the Russian ambassador to Stockholm.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also claimed last week that Moscow would deploy nuclear weapons. "tactics" on the territory of its ally, Belarus, located at the gates of the European Union.

The situation remains delicate for Sweden, which continues to face objections from Ankara. “There have been no positive steps taken by Sweden regarding the list of terrorists”lamented Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to more than 120 extradition requests made by Ankara.

The burning of a copy of the Koran by an extremist in the Swedish capital in January led to the suspension of talks between Ankara, Helsinki and Stockholm. The Turkish president then hinted that Turkey was ready to approve Finland's membership separately, despite the two countries originally wanting to move forward " together ".

However, Stockholm hopes to complete its country's entry into the Alliance before the next NATO summit scheduled for July in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Source : Nouvelobs

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