NATO countries officially sign the accession of Sweden and Finland | NOW

NATO countries formally signed on Tuesday for Sweden and Finland’s accession to the military alliance. This means that from now on prospective members can participate in the discussion, but have not yet voted.

Sweden and Finland began talks on Monday to prepare them for membership. For former recruits, the process took months, but now it’s completed in one day. This is because both countries have cooperated with NATO for many years.

“This is truly a historic moment for Finland, Sweden and NATO and for our common security,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at the signing ceremony. On behalf of the Netherlands, the outgoing ambassador, Marisa Gerards, signed. Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) spoke of “an important step for our security”.

According to Hoekstra, the entry of NATO also means that the Netherlands will become more secure, as “two allies from the European Union who are very important to the Netherlands are now also joining NATO”. According to Hoekstra, Finland and Sweden are two countries that “have regular military affairs”.

The actual accession will take months

Two candidate members now require parliamentary approval from most of the thirty member states. The so-called ratification is expected to take several months. The Dutch Cabinet sends the relevant bill to the State Council for urgent advice. The suggestion is expected to be finalized by Thursday, after which the draft will be sent to the House and Senate. Hoekstra hopes that the two houses will soon undergo treatment.

Sweden and Finland cannot yet rely on NATO protection. However, both countries have received security guarantees from several countries. The United States, Britain, Germany and other Scandinavian NATO members, among others, have pledged to help Sweden and Finland in the event of an attack.

Turkey decided last week at the NATO summit in Madrid that it would no longer oppose the membership of Sweden and Finland. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did point out that Turkey would still thwart the accession of the two countries if, in his view, they did not make enough of their commitments about, for example, tackling the Kurdish resistance movement PKK.

Winton Jensen

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