The process of Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Alliance can be officially completed by the end of December 2022. This opinion was expressed on Thursday, September 22, by US Ambassador to Helsinki Douglas Hickey.
The diplomat commented on the progress of the ratification of the protocols on the admission of Finland and Helsinki to NATO, saying that the Hungarian parliament may soon make a positive decision on this issue, informs TASS.
Turkey’s position on NATO membership of Finland and Helsinki presents a complication. However, Hickey suggested that Ankara would not want to be the only member of the Alliance that has not ratified the relevant protocols.
The American ambassador expressed his conviction that it is necessary to complete the procedure for admitting new members to NATO as soon as possible, since “we must stabilize the situation” taking into account the events in Ukraine.
Finland and Sweden applied to join the North Atlantic Alliance in May 2022. In early July, protocols were signed on the membership of the two Scandinavian countries in NATO. For the entry of new members into the Alliance, the consent of all states that are part of the military-political bloc is required.
As of September 9, 24 countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, including the United States, ratified the admission protocols of Finland and Sweden into the ranks of the military-political bloc. At the same time, disagreements with Turkey on the issue of membership of Finland and Sweden in the Alliance still persist.