Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Sunday, Mar 03, 2024

Turkey Approves Finland's Bid To Join NATO

Turkey Approves Finland's Bid To Join NATO

Turkey's approval leaves Finland -- which has a 1,300-kilometre (800-mile) border with Russia -- with only a few technical steps before it becomes the 31st member of the world's most powerful military bloc.
Turkey on Thursday became the final NATO nation to ratify Finland's membership of the US-led defence alliance in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Lawmakers unanimously backed the Nordic country's accession two weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly blessed the bid.

"This evening, we are keeping the promises we made to Finland," ruling party lawmaker Akif Cagatay Kilic said moments before the vote.

Turkey's approval leaves Finland -- which has a 1,300-kilometre (800-mile) border with Russia -- with only a few technical steps before it becomes the 31st member of the world's most powerful military bloc.

Officials expect the process to be completed as early as next week.

Finland and its neighbour Sweden ended decades of military non-alignment and decided to join NATO last May.

Their applications were accepted at a June alliance summit that was designed to show the Western world's desire to stand up to Russia in the face of Europe's most grave conflict since World War II.

But the bids still needed to be ratified by all the members' parliaments -- a process that stalled with Turkey and Hungary.

'Ample grievances'

Erdogan put up stiff resistance to Sweden's candidacy because of a series of long-standing disputes.

He first signalled his more supportive stance on Finland's membership in January -- a position that forced the Nordic neighbours to bow to the diplomatic pressure and break up their bids so that both applications were not delayed.

The Hungarian parliament ratified Finland's NATO membership on Monday. It was expected to approve Sweden's accession during the current session ending June 15.

But a spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday called on Sweden to "clear the air" and address "an ample amount of grievances" for the vote to go ahead.

Sweden has upset Orban -- one of Europe's closest allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin -- by expressing alarm over the rule of law in Hungary.

It has also angered Turkey by refusing to extradite dozens of suspects that Erdogan links to a failed 2016 coup attempt and a decades-long Kurdish fight for an independent state.

Stockholm still hopes to join the alliance in time for a July summit in Vilnius.

Most analysts believe that Turkey will only vote on Sweden's candidacy after the country's May general election.

'Legitimate target'

NATO was created as a counterweight to the Soviet Union at the onset of the Cold War era that began immediately after the Allies defeated Nazi Germany.

The bloc has gone through waves of expansion that brought it ever closer to Russia's borders.

NATO's reach into east and south European countries that were once under Moscow's effective control infuriated the Kremlin and created growing strains in its relations with Washington.

Putin cited the threat of NATO expanding into Ukraine as one of his main reasons for launching the war 13 months ago.

But the conflict has had the opposite geopolitical effect from the one envisioned by Putin.

Ukraine is now receiving tanks and other heavy weapons from NATO members that it hopes to use in a new counter-offensive planned for the coming weeks or months.

Finland never seriously discussed NATO membership until Putin went to war.

The Kremlin at first appeared to play down the significance of the bloc reaching a new stretch of Russia's northwestern frontier.

But Russia has stepped up its diplomatic rhetoric in recent weeks.

Stockholm this week summoned the Russian ambassador after he said Sweden and Finland would become a "legitimate target" of "retaliatory measures" -- including military ones -- if they join NATO.

Putin last weekend also announced plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Arab Press
0:00
0:00
Close
China Criticizes US for Vetoing UN Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza
Saudi Arabia ranks first in UN index for e-government services in MENA
Israel Records 20% Drop In GDP, War In Gaza Is The Reason
Saudi Arabia's FDI Inflows Grow with New International Standards
Venture Capitals Power Up Across MENA Region
PM Modi Announces Opening Of New CBSE Office In Dubai
January Funding for MENA Startups Totals $86.5 Million
Saudi Arabia accelerates digital economy growth through Nvidia partnership
Israel unveils tunnels underneath Gaza City headquarters of UN agency for Palestinian refugees
Israel deploys new military AI in Gaza war
Egypt threatens to suspend key peace treaty if Israel pushes into Gaza border town, officials say
Saudi Arabia Warns Of A "Humanitarian Catastrophe" If Israel Moves On Rafah
US University To Shut Qatar Campus Due To "Heightened Mideast Instability"
Facebook and Instagram Ban Iran's Supreme Leader
Defense Technology Showcase Held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rise 2.5% to $6bn in November 2023: GASTAT
Rolls-Royce Executive Encourages Saudi Women to Tap into Their Inner 'Superhero' for Success in Defense Industry
Saudi Arabia launches National Academy of Vehicles and Cars
Saudi Tourism Minister Reveals Plan for 250,000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030
SAR to more than double eastern network passenger capacity with new trains deal
Saudi Arabia Enhances National Defense with New Partnerships
Saudi Aramco Maintains Arab Light Crude Pricing to Asia for March
NEOM Establishes New York Office to Support Investors
Saudi Wealth Fund Draws in Over $25 Billion Worth of Investments in Three Years, Al-Rumayyan Reveals
The Saudi Kingdom's Ultimatum to Israel: A Win-Win Peace with Saudi Arabia and the Arab World, or a Lose-Lose Continued Occupation and Endless Conflict
Biden condemns anti-Arab hate after WSJ opinion piece calls Dearborn ‘jihad capital’
Turkey Releases Seven Hostages Captured by Pro-Gaza Gunman
Arab Parliament Commends Women's Contributions to Societal Development
British and Hungarian Foreign Ministers visited Lebanese leaders to stress the importance of enacting UN Resolution 1701
Yemen's Houthis Say They Targeted British Merchant Vessel In Red Sea
Donald Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for 'Historic' Middle East Policy
US lawmakers approve F-16 jet sale to Turkey following NATO expansion support
Saudi Arabia Climbs 25 Places in World Bank's National Statistics Indicator
Tourism Growth in Saudi Arabia Fuels Advancements in the Hospitality Industry," Says Rotana Official
Houthi Rebels Request Departure of UN Staff from Yemen, Including US and UK Personnel, within a Month
Modi Inaugurates Hindu Temple on Site of Demolished Mosque in India
Over 25,000 Deaths in Gaza Amid Israeli Offensive
Escalating Clashes in Gaza as Israel Distributes Leaflets to Assist in Locating Hostages
Turkey's First Astronaut Set to Launch for International Space Station Today
Head of Palestinian Investment Fund Warns More People May Die of Hunger Than War in Gaza
Palestinian Envoy Criticizes UK for Alleged 'Double Standards' in Policies Toward Israel
Morocco to Lead UN Human Rights Council in 2024
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Egypt has been identified as the leading military force among Arab nations and ranks 15th globally
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Iranian Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi Receives Additional Prison Sentence
"Gazans Urge Israeli Forces to Target Hamas in Leaked Audio"
Biden States US and UK Airstrikes on Houthis Were a 'Defensive Action
Large Pro-Palestine Rally in London as Gaza Conflict Hits Day 100
South Africa Urges World Court to Halt Israeli Actions in Gaza
×