NATO launches ratification process for Sweden and Finland's membership
The process to ratify Sweden and Finland as the newest members of NATO was formally launched on Tuesday, the military alliance's chief Jens Stoltenberg said, marking a historic step brought on by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"This is a good day for Finland and Sweden and a good day for NATO," Stoltenberg told reporters in a joint press statement with the Swedish and Finnish foreign ministers.
"With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger and our people will be even safer as we face the biggest security crisis in decades," he added.
For weeks Turkey blocked the Nordic countries' ascension into the military club over its security concerns relating to Kurdish militants. However, last week, a trilateral memorandum was signed featuring pledges from Sweden and Findland to support Ankara's "counterterrorism" efforts.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Finland and Sweden must keep promises of extraditions made during the talks, or ratification of the Nordic nations' NATO memberships will not be sent to the Turkish parliament.