Sweden and Finland sign the NATO accession protocol
Sweden and Finland took a further step in their NATO accession this Tuesday by signing their accession protocol, which begins the ratification process by the member states of the alliance, which in many cases involves votes in the parliaments.
The signed protocol implies that Helsinki and Stockholm can attend NATO meetings and have better access to intelligence data managed by the alliance, but they are not protected by Article 55, which stipulates that an attack on one of the members constitutes an attack on all means .
Ambassadors from the 30 allies have signed the document supporting Stockholm and Helsinki’s accession to the military organisation, an admission endorsed by the leaders’ summit in Madrid on June 29-30 Negotiations with Turkey to lift the veto have been completed in exchange for greater engagement by Scandinavian countries in the fight against the terrorist group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). However, Ankara has repeatedly threatened that it will not ratify the two new members’ accession unless the extraditions of members of the party they brand as terrorists are approved.
The deal was facilitated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and ended a month-long blockade by Ankara, paving the way for two new members to join the organization.
This move comes after Sweden and Finland completed their negotiations to join the organization in one day. In view of the political and military closeness of both candidates, the procedure was carried out in record time.
The two Nordic countries jointly applied to join NATO on May 18, a concession the Atlantic Alliance had bet on because it would be explicit and ready for the Madrid summit. However, Turkey’s reluctance due to alleged collusion between Swedes and Finns with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Defense Units (YPG) prevented immediate processing.
Once the deal is signed, the Turkish authorities have insisted that Sweden and Finland must commit to the document, threatening to block their accession again at the ratification stage.
This is the longest stage, since a bureaucratic process begins in every NATO country with the accession protocols. This will take months as each ally has a different validation system and in many cases will require a vote in Parliament.
Therefore, the formal accession of Sweden and Finland will certainly not happen before late 2022 or early 2023, which worries both candidates, who want security guarantees for that period in the face of threats from Russia.