February 18, 2024
Turkey Ratifies Sweden's NATO Membership After Delays
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Turkey Ratifies Sweden’s NATO Membership After Delays

Turkey Ratifies Sweden’s NATO Membership After Delays/Reuters

Turkey Ratifies Sweden’s NATO Membership After Delays

Turkey’s parliament voted 287-55 in favor of ratifying Sweden’s NATO membership after over a year of delays, leaving Hungary as the last holdout. The move was welcomed by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, who urged Hungary to complete its national ratification. The accession process began in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Finland joining NATO last April. The expansion is seen as a demonstration of Western resolve in the face of Russia’s aggression.

Geopolitical Shift as Sweden Nears Full NATO Membership

Sweden, along with Finland, shifted from a policy of military non-alignment during the Cold War to seek NATO membership amid concerns over Russia’s actions. While Hungary’s ratification is expected, strains have emerged between Stockholm and Budapest. Turkish President Erdogan’s objections initially focused on perceived support for Kurdish groups, but later included demands related to military equipment.

Strains Emerge Between Sweden and Hungary in NATO Accession Process

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban invited his Swedish counterpart to Budapest for discussions on Sweden’s NATO bid, revealing potential strains. While Hungary is expected to back Sweden’s candidacy, Sweden’s officials emphasized that there is nothing to negotiate, as Hungary did not present conditions during the initial NATO invitation. The German foreign ministry urged Hungary to conclude the remaining steps for Sweden’s NATO membership.

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