Finland will formally become a new member of the military alliance after the Turkish parliament on Thursday unanimously approved Finland’s accession to NATO.
The new development comes as all 30 NATO members have approved Finland’s membership to the military alliance, making it further stronger.
Appreciating the members’ approval, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said on Twitter, “I want to thank every one of them for their trust and support. Finland will be a strong and capable ally, committed to the security of the Alliance,” he said.
Helsinki is set to become the 31st member of the alliance following Turkiye’s vote for Finland’s accession after months, however, Sweden is still out in the cold.
Sweden and Finland, initially applied for NATO membership last May, prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Turkiye and Hungary have been delaying on approving the membership of the two Nordic nations to the Alliance.
Western officials expected both countries to become full members before a summit of NATO leaders scheduled to take place in Vilnius in July, however, it still remains uncertain whether Stockholm could join the alliance before then because Turkiye has yet to schedule a vote on Sweden.
Following Turkey’s ratification of Finland to join the military alliance Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General welcomed Turkey’s vote and said on Twitter, “this will make the whole NATO family stronger & safer.”
To become a full member of the alliance, Finland will soon get an invitation from Jens Stoltenberg and then the US will give its so-called instrument of accession. Also, the US will issue a statement that Finland is now part of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Ankara demanded that the Nordic countries should stop supporting Kurdish armed groups, such as the PKK, and lift their bans on the sales of some arms to Turkey. Ankara also raised concerns that Sweden had been harboring PKK members, which Stockholm denied.