The Finnish Government submitted a formal proposal to join NATO to its national parliament on Monday, which will then have to be ratified by all 30 NATO members. However, Turkey is delaying their approval due to tensions between them and Sweden – another country undergoing NATO accession.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Finland decided to forego their long-standing 'neutral' stance on armed conflicts and opted to join NATO in May and was also joined by their Scandinavian neighbour Sweden.
As the government proposed the passing of the NATO protocols to the country's lawmakers on Monday, Finland has taken "another step forward towards the accession process,” stated Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto in the Finnish Parliament.
- Sweden edges towards NATO membership
- NATO claims Ukraine has suffered a 'horrific start to the winter'
- Washington approves sale of anti-aircraft missiles to Finland
Parliamentarians will now decide whether to approve the government's proposal. After which it will have to be ratified by the President Sauli Niinistö. Finally, their membership bid will have to be ratified by all 30 NATO members.
The only NATO Member States yet to approve both Scandinavian countries' membership bids are Hungary and Turkey. While Hungary's approval is expected in the coming weeks, Turkey is stalling the process over Sweden's historic support for pro-Kurdish groups.