Crypto News

Finland without Sweden closer to joining NATO

HELSINKI: Finland on Tuesday begins a parliamentary debate aimed at speeding up the country’s NATO bid and increasing the likelihood that it will outperform neighbor and military partner Sweden.

Finland, which shares one of Europe’s longest borders with Russia, and Sweden abandoned their decades-old policy of military non-alignment and applied to join the alliance in May last year after invading Ukraine.

However, Helsinki faces fewer diplomatic hurdles than Stockholm and even appears to be making headway ahead of Finland’s April general election as public opinion also supports membership.

The two countries have the support of all but two of NATO’s 30 members, the holdouts being Hungary and Turkey in particular.

Many Finnish MPs have been pushing for legislation confirming Finland’s acceptance of the terms of the NATO treaty, which is due to be adopted ahead of April 2 elections.

Finland will debate the bill on Tuesday and a vote is expected by Wednesday.

Passing the bill means Finland can act quickly, even if ratifications come in before a new government is formed.

“Now is the time to ratify Finland and Sweden and to fully welcome them as members,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday during a visit to Finland to meet with political leaders.

“My message is that both Finland and Sweden have delivered what they promised in the trilateral deal they struck with Turkey in Madrid last June,” he said.

Stoltenberg pointed out that Finland and Sweden are now much safer than when they applied, citing security assurances from several members.

“It is unthinkable that there will be a threat against Finland or Sweden without NATO responding,” he said.


It is expected that the law without major Resistance will be adopted as the original application for membership was supported by 188 of the 200 MEPs in May.

Helsinki has so far emphasized its preference to join the alliance alongside Sweden, but some have interpreted the bill as a signal that Finland is ready to move forward on its own.

Turkey has since blocked the offers, accusing Sweden in particular of providing a safe haven for what it sees as “terrorists”, particularly members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In contrast, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Turkey was positive about Finland’s bid.

“We could separate the accession process of Sweden and Finland,” he said.

While Sweden sympathizes with Finland’s position, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that Finland’s accession alone could “complicate” close military cooperation between the Nordic countries, leaving Sweden alone outside of NATO protection.

“Not beyond the elections”

While passing the law does not mean that Finland will automatically join NATO after ratification by Turkey and Hungary, it does set a deadline for how long it can wait for its neighbor.

The government’s Chancellor of Justice, Tuomas Poysti, said that once the bill is approved by Parliament, the president can wait a maximum of three months to sign it.

After the President signs the bill, Sweden will have to wait some time, “a couple of weeks at most,” before depositing the instruments of accession in Washington.

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto told reporters on Wednesday he intends to sign the law “as soon as it is approved by Parliament” but “if there are practical reasons, I can wait”.

“But not beyond the elections,” he added.

Some MPs, particularly from the Left Alliance party – which has been vocal in its opposition to NATO in the past – believe Finland should only pass the law after ratification, to ensure coordinated accession with Sweden.

But a majority of Finns want to go ahead and join NATO even if Sweden’s membership is delayed, a poll showed in early February.

Cavusoglu also announced on Monday that negotiations between the three countries would resume on March 9 after talks with Sweden were cut short over a series of protests in Stockholm, including a Koran burning outside the Turkish embassy.

Hungary has signaled that a vote on the Nordic countries’ requests is likely to take place in March.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button