Finland president signs NATO membership laws and leave the room instantly

Finland's President signs laws to make Finland NATO member

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership last year. Howevr, Turkey and then Hungary put obstacles on their accession to the alliance.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö signed the laws on the country's accession to NATO at a ceremony held at the Government Palace, Yle reports.

"Here they are,” Niinistö told reporters after signing the documents and left the room.

The Finnish Parliament finally approved the decision to join the North Atlantic Alliance on March 1.

As many as 184 MPs voted for the decision, seven voted against it.

Finland and Sweden jointly applied for NATO membership in May. All members of the alliance — 30 countries in total — must approve their accession.

Turkey, which initially requested Stockholm and Helsinki to extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK, banned by the Turkish authorities) proceeded to ratify Finland's application.

Hungarian MPs said in early March hat they were undecided about new NATO members. Prime Minister Viktor Orban initially promised to approve the applications of both Finland and Sweden, but later expressed his skepticism on the subject. Finland as a NATO member would have "more than a thousand kilometers of direct contact" with Russia.

The Swedish parliament also approved NATO membership for the country, but Sweden's complicated relations with Turkey became a problem for Stockholm.

In February, Turkey said that the Swedish authorities had not yet fulfilled their obligations to extradite terrorists, even though the parties achieved an adequate agreement at the NATO summit in Madrid. In January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was infuriated with the act conducted by Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the Danish far-right political party Hard Line, who burned the Koran in Stockholm. The Turkish leader did not rule out that he would make a decision that would "shock" Sweden.

As for Russia, Moscow does not see any threat coming from Sweden's and Finland's NATO membership, the Kremlin said.

"Firstly, we do not have any disputes with these countries. These countries never claimed to be "anti-Russia". They did not pose a threat to us — accordingly, there was no threat coming from them,” said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian president.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov