Finland, Sweden sign protocol to join NATO
Tags: International News
30 NATO allies have signed the protocol to make Sweden, Finland members.
It will allow them to join the nuclear-armed alliance once parliaments of all NATO countries ratify the decision.
It is the most significant expansion of the alliance since 1990.
The signing at NATO headquarters follows an agreement with Turkey at the NATO summit in Madrid last week.
The protocol means that Helsinki and Stockholm can participate in NATO meetings and obtain intelligence, but will not be protected by a NATO defence clause.
NATO defence clause means that an attack on one ally is an attack against all until ratification.
It is likely to take up to a year to become part of the NATO defence clause.
All 30 allies signed accession protocols for Sweden and Finland at a ceremony in Brussels on 5 July, making the countries formal invitees and allowing them access to almost all NATO meetings.
Moscow has repeatedly warned both countries against joining NATO.
On 12 March, the Russian Foreign Ministry said there would be "serious military and political consequences".
Turkey is threatening to veto NATO membership for Sweden and Finland.
Turkey will not ratify membership of the NATO for these countries if they don’t fufill their promises to combat terrorism and extradite suspects under a memorandum of understanding reached at an alliance summit in Madrid last week.
About North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance consisting of 30 member states belonging to Europe and North America (28 European states, the US and Canada).
NATO aims to guarantee the security of its members through political and military means.
According to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, an armed attack against any NATO member in Europe or North America shall be deemed an attack against all NATO members.
Article 5 has been invoked only once so far after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the US.
The last country to join NATO was North Macedonia in 2020.
Headquarters- Brussels, Belgium
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