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Sweden and Finland officially invited to NATO

NATO has officially decided to invite Sweden and Finland to the alliance

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We reaffirm our commitment to NATO’s open-door policy. Today we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO and have agreed to sign accession protocols. The accession of Finland and Sweden will make them more secure, NATO stronger and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure.

"NATO has officially decided to invite Sweden and Finland to the alliance"
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Several months will pass before the countries become official members of NATO, the DPA agency points out. According to the regulations, the accession protocols must be signed next Tuesday, July 5th. After that, they will have to be ratified by all 30 NATO member states. The agency estimates that this could take six to eight months.

Russia as the most significant and urgent danger to Allied security”.

A new Strategic Concept has also been announced by NATO, which identifies “Russia as the most significant and urgent danger to Allied security.”

“The accession of Finland and Sweden will strengthen their security, make NATO stronger … The security of Finland and Sweden is of great direct importance for the alliance, including during the accession process,” the document says.

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Recall that on June 28, Turkey reached an agreement with Sweden and Finland, which made it possible to eliminate the final hurdle to the start of the admission process. This made it possible for Turkey to join the European Union.

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Turkey’s position turned out to be the main obstacle on the way of Finland and Sweden to NATO. Ankara refused to approve the application of the two countries, accusing them of political and financial support for organizations recognized as terrorists in Turkey.

On Tuesday in Madrid,  Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed a memorandum in the field of security, which takes into account all the concerns of Ankara. Turkey, in turn, withdrew its objections to the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO.

Moscow views the alliance as having an antagonistic purpose:

"NATO has officially decided to invite Sweden and Finland to the alliance"
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Moscow has made it clear on multiple occasions that it views the alliance as having an antagonistic purpose. According to Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for the President of the Russian Federation, further growth of the union will not provide more security to Europe. In the same breath, he does not believe that Russia will face any existential challenges as a result of Sweden and Finland being members of this organization. The termination of Finland’s long-standing policy of maintaining its military neutrality would be unwise, according to Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, who highlighted that his country is not now in danger.

The parties were able to reach an agreement the day before. Representatives of the countries signed a joint memorandum following the talks in Madrid. The office of Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey received “what it wanted” from both countries: Helsinki and Stockholm, according to the Turkish side, promised “full cooperation” in the fight against the PKK and recognition of the movement of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen as a terrorist group, whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses of attempting a coup in 2016.

The Scandinavian countries also agreed to lift an arms embargo on Turkey imposed in 2019 in response to its military intervention in Syria, Ankara said. The signed agreement states that the three sides will form a joint mechanism to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and Finland and Sweden “will take all necessary steps to further tighten domestic legislation” on this issue, Reuters reported.

Turkey has already announced that it will repeat its request to Sweden and Finland to extradite 33 people whom Ankara considers terrorists. In May, countries refused such a request.

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