Biden ratifies US support for accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO

Biden ratifies US support for accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO
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Seven countries including Turkey remain to ratify the two countries' accession to NATO after US President Joe Biden has ratified US support on Tuesday

US President Joe Biden signed the ratification documents regarding the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO on Tuesday.

Biden said: "I urge the remaining allies to complete their own ratification progress as quickly as possible."

The applications were approved by the US Senate on 3 August with a 95-1 vote.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press statement that they celebrate this historic moment, and that they are pleased with the swift progress toward Finland and Sweden becoming NATO allies.

Biden ratifies US support for accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO

In order for Finland and Sweden to join NATO, all 30 member states need to ratify the applications of the two Nordic countries. With Biden signing the ratification, 23 member countries have approved the applications. The Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey are yet to ratify.

Turkey's reservations

The Turkish administration have repeatedly expressed security concerns, claiming that "terrorist organizations" receive support from Sweden and Finland.

Turkish President Erdogan recently said during an Ambassador's Conference on Monday, "No NATO member should be a safe haven for the FETO and PKK, who try to escape Turkish justice," referring to the supporters of the Gulen movement who allegedly took part in the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, and Kurdish activists affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"We reiterated our position in the last NATO summit in Madrid," Erdogan added.

"The memberships of countries in which PKK members run wild in the streets, stage demonstrations with their rags [flags] under police protection, traffic large sums of money every year, will not contribute to NATO, but instead harm the values it stands for. We maintain our clear and determined position about Finland and Sweden. If the promises given to our country and written under agreements are not kept, Turkey will not ratify the membership applications of these two countries.”

Turkey, Finland and Sweden signed a deal on 28 June during the NATO summit in Madrid, with Turkey agreeing to drop its objections in exchange for the two countries' assurances that Kurdish activists affiliated with the PKK will be prosecuted and extradited, the People's Protection Units (YPG) in north Syria will not be provided support, and the arms embargoes imposed upon Turkey over its occupation of parts of Syria in 2019 will be lifted.