Finland is preparing to join the alliance "NATO" without Sweden

On Tuesday, Finland will begin the final debate in Parliament on its accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), without waiting for the approval of Turkey and Hungary.

And ahead of elections scheduled for April 2, the government of outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin wants to avoid any political vacuum in order to be able to quickly join NATO once Helsinki has the approval of Ankara and Budapest.

And this can happen without neighboring Sweden, which has also been a candidate for NATO membership since last year, but is still facing opposition from Turkey.

On Tuesday, 200 deputies of the Finnish parliament begin discussions on a bill to join NATO, a vote is expected on Wednesday.

Their discussion coincided with a visit to Finland by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, during which he will meet with senior officials from the country of 5.5 million people.

Similar to what happened in the preliminary vote last May, during which the vast majority of deputies supported joining the alliance (188 votes in favor), the result of the vote this time is also guaranteed by the almost unanimity of the country’s parties, even those that do not supported NATO a year ago.

Passing the Finnish law does not mean that Helsinki will enter automatically after the Hungarian and Turkish ratifications, but the move sets a clear timetable. Once the law is approved, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has a maximum of three months to sign it.

Earlier, Niinist√∂ said he would sign “as soon as the law is passed”, and explained: “Unless there are practical reasons, I can wait … but only after the April 2 elections.”

And then, according to what’s in place at NATO, the accession documents must be sent to Washington “within a few weeks at the latest,” Attorney General Thomas Boesti explained.

And Finland and Sweden have decided to turn the page on the military non-alignment they have adopted since the 1990s, and a legacy of neutrality that has lasted for decades, by applying to join NATO.

28 out of 30 NATO member countries have ratified the accession of two countries to NATO.

Finland has so far reaffirmed its intention to join the alliance with Sweden, but the great difficulties that Stockholm and Ankara faced, culminating in diplomatic incidents in January, have changed the situation.

Source: AFP.

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