Sweden and Finland are one step closer to joining NATO. There is still work to be done in the 30 Member States.

Representatives of the 30 NATO member states have signed the accession protocols necessary for the admission of Sweden and Finland. This was confirmed by several diplomats from the German Press Agency in Brussels.

The accession protocols authorize the Secretary General to officially invite the two Nordic countries to join. However, before they can come into force, they still have to be ratified by the member states.

The national parliament is usually also involved in this procedure. According to estimates, it could therefore take another six to eight months before Finland and Sweden can actually be admitted to the alliance.

resistance to admission

Actually, the protocols for the two Nordic countries should have been signed several weeks ago. However, Turkey blocked the accession process and justified this, among other things, with the alleged support of Sweden and Finland for “terrorist organizations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK, the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG and the Gülen movement.

Only when both countries pledged in writing on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid last week that they would respond to several of Turkey’s demands did Turkey give up its resistance to the start of the admissions process.

Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership on May 18 under the impression of the Russian attack on Ukraine. For decades, the two Nordic countries had prioritized alliance neutrality.

“Truly historic moment”

At the signing ceremony on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke of a “truly historic moment” for Sweden, Finland and NATO. “With 32 nations at one table, we will be even stronger,” said the Norwegian.