The 30 ambassadors of the NATO countries signed this Tuesday in Brussels the protocols of accession of Finland and Sweden, a key step for their membership of the Alliancealthough they will not be full members until the admission process is completed.
The signing took place in the presence of the Foreign Ministers of Finland, Pekka Haavisto, and of Sweden, Ann LindeNATO reported in a statement.
Before the signing of the protocols, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenbergassured that with the future entry of Finland and Sweden into the Alliance “we will be even stronger and our population will be even safer when we face the biggest security crisis in decades”, referring to the war in ukraine.
He stressed that this Tuesday is “really a historic moment for Finland, for Sweden and for NATO, and for our shared security.”
“NATO’s door remains open for European democracies that are ready and willing to contribute to our shared security”, he commented.
The politician also acknowledged today the “security concerns” that Turkey raised and that “needed to be addressed”, which was done during weeks of negotiations.
“We did what we always do in NATO. We found common ground,” he said.
The war in Ukraine has led Finland and Sweden, countries with a neutral tradition, to request entry into NATOa process that has turned out to be more complex than expected after Turkey blocked the access of the two states, considering them lax in dealing with organizations that Ankara describes as terrorists.
However, Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki reached a pact last Tuesday by which Turkey lifted its veto, which cleared the way for the two Nordic states to become members of the transatlantic organization.
Indeed, after the trilateral agreement reached between Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki in Madrid, the allied leaders, at last week’s summit, agreed to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
Just yesterday, the two Nordic countries completed the accession negotiations at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, and today the signing of the entry protocols of both States by the ambassadors of the thirty current NATO members.
After the signing of the accession protocols, they must be ratified at the national level in the thirty countries of the transatlantic organization.
NATO’s principle of collective defense, according to which an attack against an ally is equivalent to an attack against all of them and a joint response must be given, will only apply to Finland and Sweden when they have become full members of the Alliance, once the entire accession process has been completed. (YO)