BRUSSELS (AP) – 30 NATO allies are set to sign membership protocols for Sweden and Finland on Tuesday, sending membership bids to the alliance’s capital for legal approval.
The move would further deepen Russia’s strategic isolation in the wake of an attack on neighboring Ukraine in February, and a military battle there since then.
Russia’s neighbor Finland and Scandinavian partner Sweden will formally approve the decisions of last week’s NATO summit, while 30 ambassadors and permanent representatives will make the historic decision to invite Sweden to join the military club.
Despite the agreement on the alliance, parliamentary approval in member states Turkey can still create problems for their final inclusion as members.
Last week, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Ankara could still block the process if the two countries failed to fully meet Turkey’s demands to hand over suspected terrorists linked to the banned Kurdish group or an exiled man accused of a failed 2016 coup. Turkey.
He said the Turkish parliament could refuse to ratify the agreement. This is a strong threat because NATO’s accession must be formally approved by all 30 member states, giving each the right to block.
The expected sign-off on Tuesday has already taken both countries deeper into the fold of NATO. As close partners, they have already attended some meetings that involved issues that affected them immediately. As official invitees, they can attend all meetings of ambassadors even if they do not yet have a voting right.
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