Today, the Finnish Parliament approved a bill on Finland's entry into the North Atlantic Alliance. The picture shows the voting results – 184 votes for, seven against. March 1, 2023..
Helsinki – Today, the Finnish Parliament approved a draft law on Finland's accession to the North Atlantic Alliance. The country, which was neutral for decades, decided to join NATO after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year. The acceptance of both Finland and Sweden, which is also applying for NATO membership, must be approved by all 30 member countries of the alliance; still pending ratification by Hungary and Turkey.
Finland's Yle TV reported that 184 members of the Finnish parliament supported the membership law and seven opposed. The approval of the law needed for Finland to join the alliance was widely expected. In May, members of the unicameral Finnish parliament approved Finland's application for NATO membership by a ratio of 188:8.
Before the vote, Finland said it aimed to complete the legislative process by the end of Prime Minister Sanna Marin's term. Parliamentary elections are planned in the country for April 2, and Helsinki wanted to avoid a possible political vacuum.
But Finland and Sweden are still waiting for their membership application to be ratified by Hungary and Turkey. While this should not be a problem in the case of Budapest, Ankara has reservations about Sweden in particular, criticizing Stockholm for what it says is a haven for Kurdish radicals and does not prevent opponents of Islam from making anti-Muslim speeches in public.
Hungarian President Katalin Nováková today urged lawmakers to ratify the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO “as soon as possible”. The ratification debate began today in the Hungarian parliament, where the relevant proposals have been deadlocked for months.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu said on Monday that talks with Sweden and Finland on their accession will resume on March 9. At the same time, he noted that Ankara still cannot agree to the Swedish request.
Turkey says it is willing to deal separately with Finland's request. But the Nordic countries have already said that they prefer to join the alliance together.
Ukraine will become a member of NATO, but it is a long-term process, Stoltenberg said
Ukraine will become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance, but “in the long term”. According to AFP, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced this today during his visit to Finland.
“The countries of the North Atlantic Alliance agree that Ukraine should become a member, but at the same time it is a long-term issue,” Stoltenberg noted. “The important thing now is to ensure that Ukraine remains an independent, sovereign state, and that is why we must support Ukraine,” the NATO chief said.
“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin's war continues and there are no signs of he was going to change his plans. He wants to control Ukraine and is not preparing for peace, but for another war,” Stoltenberg further stated during a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Therefore, according to him, it is necessary to find means to ensure that Putin and Russia do not invade Ukraine again.
Ukraine has been striving for full membership in NATO for a long time and has already submitted an application for admission. Russia strongly objects to the alliance's expansion towards Russia's borders.
Stoltenberg arrived in Helsinki on the day that the Finnish parliament began debating a bill on Finland's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance. The country, which had been neutral for decades, decided to join NATO after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year.
All member countries have already approved the admission of Finland and Sweden, which are also applying for NATO membership. except for Hungary and Turkey. While this should not be a problem in the case of Budapest, Ankara has reservations about Sweden in particular, criticizing Stockholm for what it says is a haven for Kurdish radicals and does not prevent opponents of Islam from speaking publicly.
Stoltenberg said today that ” now the time has come” for Ankara and Budapest to ratify the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO. “Finland and Sweden have fulfilled what they promised in the tripartite agreement with Turkey last June in Madrid,” said the head of NATO.