Status: 05.07.2022 11:13 a.m.
This is another historic moment for Finland and Sweden: Ambassadors from NATO countries paved the way for the two countries to join. Now, individual states still have to approve membership.
After a long history of military alliance neutrality, Sweden and Finland are on the verge of joining NATO. In Brussels, the ambassadors of the 30 NATO countries launched the process of ratifying membership by signing the accession protocols.
Now, individual states still have to approve membership. The Bundestag could accept the membership of Finland and Sweden this week. An attempt will be made to deal with a corresponding request on Wednesday in the first reading in parliament, traffic light coalition circles said last Friday. The last two readings could then take place on Friday. This enabled the Federal Council to deal with the ratification on the same day.
More than 75 percent of Finns for membership
For decades, the majority of Finns and Swedes had rejected NATO membership. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 marked a historic turning point, particularly in Finland, which shares a 1,300 kilometer border with Russia. In polls over the past 20 years, no more than 20-30% of Finns and Swedes supported joining the transatlantic defense alliance – in Finland the proportion has now risen to over 75%.
The two Nordic countries applied for NATO membership in May. NATO cleared the way for Finland and Sweden to be added to the military alliance at the Madrid summit last week.
Shortly before the start of the meeting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dropped his week-long opposition to the two countries joining the EU. In a trinational agreement, Sweden and Finland have responded to Turkey’s central demands, according to Ankara. According to estimates, it could take another six to eight months before Finland and Sweden can actually join the alliance.