At yesterday's informal dinner of NATO Foreign Ministers, the vast majority of Member States voted in favor of the immediate accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO.
In fact, there was a “competition” as to which country would ratify the relevant accession protocols more quickly, implying that the positive outcome of the negotiations is predetermined.
These accusations were rejected by interested countries, while some allies pointed out that in the face of a historic moment where unity is required against Russian aggression, there should be no divergence.
Greece's position, as expressed by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, is that the accession of Sweden and Finland will strengthen the front of the principles of democracy and respect for international law, principles and values, which NATO's advocate.
< strong> Finland's formal application for membership
Finland officially expressed its desire to join NATO earlier today, President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sana Marin told a joint news conference on Sunday.
Finland has decided to apply to join NATO, as a direct consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“It is a historic day. A new era is beginning, “said Finnish President Sauli Niinisto during a press conference./p>
“A protected Finland is being born, part of a stable, strong and responsible region,” the president said, referring to Scandinavia. With the accession of Finland and Sweden, but with Norway and Denmark already present, all the countries in the region will be in the common security space.
“We are gaining and sharing security. “It's good to keep in mind that security is not a zero-sum game,” he added.
For her part, Sana Marin stressed that the “historic decision” of the country is. “We hope that Parliament will confirm the decision on NATO membership in the coming days. “It will be based on a clear mandate,” Marin said. p>”I or Finland are not used to hiding. “It's better to say clearly and to the interested party what has already been said and that is what I wanted to do,” Niinisto said in a telephone interview yesterday.
to proceed with the accession “because it is not threatened by anyone”. Less discreet were Russian officials who in recent weeks had warned that Finland and Sweden joining NATO would upset the Baltic balance sheet and that Russia would strengthen its defenses in the wider region.
The Finnish Parliament is due to consider the accession plan tomorrow, Monday, and then a vote will take place, according to the speaker. Prime Minister Marin's party voted in favor yesterday.
A majority of lawmakers are in favor of his country joining the North Atlantic Alliance.
The same goes for public opinion: About three out of four citizens express themselves positively, a spectacular change from the beginning of the year. In Sweden, too, the percentage of citizens in favor of accession exceeds 50%, according to opinion polls. Sweden, which has also expressed its intention to become a member of the Alliance.
How to join
After the “green light” of the Parliament, the official submission of an application to NATO will follow. The Accession Protocol will then be signed by the end of the month at the latest. will be able to sit at the table of the NATO Summit on 28-30 June in Madrid, as well as at all subsequent meetings of the North Atlantic Alliance.
After the first signing of the Accession Protocol, followed by ratification by the parliaments of the 30 NATO member states & # 8211; a process which usually takes six to 18 months, but in this case is expected to be completed by the end of the year at the latest.
During this period, Finland will not yet be a full member NATO and therefore will not formally have the security guarantees provided by Article 5 of the Treaty. However, Finland and Sweden have received serious security assurances from powerful NATO countries, such as Britain and the United States.