Sunday August 14, 2022

USA, Italy ratify Finland, Sweden´s NATO accession protocols

Published : 04 Aug 2022, 03:16

Updated : 04 Aug 2022, 03:21

  DF Report

Finland's ambassador to NATO Klaus Korhonen and his Swedish counterpart Axel Wernhoff submitted the two application letters together to NATO headquarters in Brussels on May 18. File Photo: Finnish government by Juha Roininen.

The US senate and Italy's parliament ratified the accession protocols of Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), local and international media reported.

The US Senators approved the NATO accession of the two Nordic countries by 95 votes to 1 on Wednesday (Finnish time early Thursday night).

Republican Josh Hawley of Missouri was the lone senator who voted against the proposal.

Two-third or 67 votes were needed to ratify the protocols.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the voting, President Sauli Niinistö and United States Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell held a telephone conversation and discussed about the ratification.

“Senate Leader McConnell called ahead of the important vote tonight. I thanked him for his steadfast support for Finland's NATO membership. We discussed the ratifications still needed and shared a deep concern on global security,” Niinistö wrote in a twitter post late Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Italy's parliament on Wednesday approved the bill ratifying the accession of Finland and Sweden to the NATO alliance.

The ratification bill was passed by 202 votes to 13, a day after the approval by lower house with a vast majority.

With US and Italy, so far 23 countries out of total 30 ratified the NATO accession protocols for Finland and Sweden.

Earlier, Canada, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, United Kingdom, Albania, Poland, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania, Lithuania, Montenegro, Belgium, North Macedonia and France ratified the protocols for Finland and Sweden.

Finland´s accession protocol needs to be ratified by the rest seven NATO member countries, although some questions from Turkey still remain in this regard.

Turkey, which already agreed to support Finland´s membership, is now raising question regarding the extradition of members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its leaders are very often threatening to block the membership.

On July 5, the ambassadors of the 30 NATO states signed the accession protocols at the organization's headquarters in Brussels, with the foreign ministers of the two Nordic countries in attendance.