NATO has taken a historic step by formally invite Sweden and Finland to join the Alliance. The 30 allies reached a unanimous agreement this Wednesday during the Madrid summit for the two Scandinavian countries to become a definitive part of the Alliance. After weeks of negotiations, the invitation was made possible after the two countries reached an agreement on Tuesday with Turkey, which had originally vetoed Sweden’s entry.
“The allies have made the historic decision to invite Sweden and Finland to become members of the Alliance,” the organization’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, announced at a press conference. Your income “shows that NATO’s door is open and that Putin has failed in his attempt to close this door”has defended.
The entry of Sweden and Finland will make these countries and the Euro-Atlantic area “safer” and “NATO stronger”, reads a statement released by the Alliance. Members also undertake to ensure their safety during the transition period between the application for entry and the moment in which it becomes effective.
Now him entry of Stockholm and Helsinki will have to be ratified by the parliaments of the 30 countries of the organization. “The process has progressed quickly so far, but it will take some time from now on,” Stoltenberg said.
The end of centuries-old neutrality
The war in Ukraine has brought about a radical change in the international politics of these two countries. Sweden has broken a neutrality that it had maintained for the last two centuries to become part of the Western military bloc, with which it was already collaborating before, while Finland has taken this step pushed by the threat of Russia, a country with which it shares more than a thousand kilometers of border and a complex history.
Both Stockholm and Helsinki made their admission application official at the end of May, but an agreement had not been reached due to Ankara’s veto. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accused Sweden of harboring Kurdish militants that his government considers “terrorists”. Since then, delegations from the three countries have held negotiations at different levels. “It has been hard work for weeks,” the NATO secretary general acknowledged.
On Tuesday, however, a meeting between the three countries mediated by Stoltenberg himself allowed this veto to be overcome. reached a “good deal for Turkey, Sweden and Finland, a good deal for NATO,” The head of the Alliance has claimed.
Even before the formal invitation to the two countries was announced, Ankara has announced that it is preparing 33 extradition requests to Sweden and Finland from people it considers terrorists. The Turkish Minister of Justice, Bekir Bozdag, has indicated that there are six open files on people that Turkey considers to be members of the Kurdish guerrilla PKK, and another six from the Islamist sect of Fethullah Gülen, which his government holds responsible for the failed coup. from 2016.
In an interview with TVE, the Swedish prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, asked for calm before accepting these extraditions “If Turkey comes with an extradition request, We will examine the request, but we will follow Swedish and European law.”, he pointed out, after defending that Sweden has adapted the legislation against terrorism and its financing. “We will never extradite Swedish citizens, and if someone is not linked to terrorist activities, you don’t have to worry,” she added.
Russia sees this entry as a “particularly destabilizing” factor
With the entry of Sweden and Finland, NATO will be made up of 32 members and will expand further to the east. The Alliance will have more than a thousand new kilometers of direct border with Russia, something that Moscow sees a “particularly destabilizing” factor, according to his Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov.
For his part, the The Spanish government has celebrated that Madrid is the place for the enlargement and strengthening of NATO at such a critical time. Executive sources point out that Spain welcomes “two strong democracies” and is committed to accelerating the ratification process. In our country, it will have to be the Council of Ministers first who ratifies the entry of Sweden and Finland, a step that Congress will have to confirm later.
The process can vary from one country to another, so NATO has not confirmed when it could end. On previous occasions, Stoltenberg had promised to speed up the process as much as possible.