All NATO members except for Turkey and Hungary endorse Sweden, Finland’s membership
Slovakia became the latest NATO member that ratified Sweden and Finland’s NATO accession protocols, leaving Turkey on the non-signatory list along with Hungary.
Turkey keeps holding its veto card up, threatening Stockholm and Helsinki for not approving their memberships, unless they extradite the people Ankara deems to be terrorists.
Twenty-eight of 30 NATO member states by now have given the necessary official approval for Sweden and Finland’s joining the transatlantic alliance.
Following Slovakia’s parliamentary approval on Tuesday, two countries including Turkey remain on the list that have not yet ratified the accession protocols.
Canada, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Albania, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Lithuania, Belgium, Romania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, France, Italy, the United States, Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Slovakia endorsed the two Nordic countries’ NATO memberships in their legislative bodies respectively.
Sweden and Finland that have a long history of neutrality in military conflicts, officially applied for NATO membership in May, following Russia’s launching an invasion of Ukraine on Feb.24. While the vast majority of NATO members welcomed Sweden’s and Finland’s bids to demonstrate strength and unity in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Turkey, the second largest army in the alliance, opposed the two countries’ memberships, citing their failure to combat threats to Turkey’s security.
After Sweden and Finland promised to address Ankara’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects, Turkey dropped its objections against Sweden and Finland’s membership applications, allowing the military organization to formally invite the two countries for membership at a Madrid summit in June. But the final approval of their memberships depends on the current member states’ parliaments.
The NATO accession protocols for Sweden and Finland need to be ratified by the parliaments of all 30 members, where Ankara says it will not approve the documents if Stockholm and Helsinki fail to fulfil their commitments, regarding Turkey’s extradition requests.
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag on Tuesday said Swedish officials will visit Turkey next week to discuss Ankara’s requests. The Swedish delegation will held two-day long technical talks with Turkish Justice Ministry officials, starting on Oct.5, Bozdag said, adding that a Turkish Foreign Ministry delegation will also head to Finland soon.