Turkey decides on Finland’s bid to join NATO

Lawmakers in Turkey are set to become the final NATO nation to approve Finland’s membership in the military alliance.

Turkey’s parliament was set to ratify Finland’s application to join NATO on Thursday.

In doing so, it would become the final of 30 NATO member states to support Finland’s accession, clearing the last major hurdle for the country to join the military alliance.

Ratification was all but certain after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ended months of negotiations and blessed Finland’s candidacy earlier this month.

Finland has a 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) border with Russia and is only a few technical steps away from becoming the 31st member of the alliance.

Hard way to NATO

Fearing that they would be next targeted after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, Finland and Sweden abandoned their traditional position of military non-alignment and applied for NATO membership in May 2022.

Admitting a new country requires unanimity among all member nations.

Sweden’s bid is still on hold due to Erdogan’s demands to address certain security-related issues.

Hungary approved Finland’s bid to join NATO last week but the vote on Sweden has not yet been put on the parliamentary agenda.

A spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday called on Sweden to “clear the air” and address “an ample amount of grievances” for parliament to ratify its bid.

lo/sms (AFP, dpa)

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