The Czech Republic joins the majority of NATO countries in approving the accession protocols of Finland and Sweden to the military bloc.
The Czech parliament on Saturday approved the NATO accession protocols of Finland and Sweden by a majority of votes.
“On Saturday, 134 out of 152 deputies present voted for the admission of Finland to NATO, and 135 out of 151 voted for the admission of Sweden, in both cases 4 deputies voted against,” the parliament confirmed in a statement.
The bill will now have to be approved by the president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, who has previously announced that he supports the accession of both countries to the alliance.
On July 5, the permanent representatives of NATO member states signed accession protocols for Finland and Sweden at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
All members of the bloc have to ratify the protocols according to their national legislation.
As of today, 24 countries out of 30 have already completed the formal procedure to welcome Finland and Sweden to the alliance.
The applications have not been ratified by Spain, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Turkey, and Hungary.
Russia has repeatedly noted that NATO’s actions suggest that it is aimed at confrontation. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that the expansion of the alliance will not bring security to Europe and that NATO’s enlargement is a form of aggression.
However, Peskov noted that he does not consider the possible accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO an existential threat to Russia.
On May 18, three months after the start of the war in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden submitted NATO membership bids, ending decades of neutrality. However, Turkey refused their applications and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan stated that Ankara could not consent to the nordic countries’ move as long as they supported Kurdish “terrorists”.
On the first day of the military alliance’s summit in the Spanish capital Madrid on June 28, Turkey agreed to support Finland and Sweden’s joint membership of NATO after Erdogan’s office considered that “Turkey got what it wanted” from Sweden and Finland before agreeing to back their drives to join the NATO alliance.
One request vs. a long list of conditions
While #Turkey had a long list of conditions from #Finland and #Sweden, all the two Nordic states wanted was to join #NATO.
Here’s your guide to understanding on what basis the agreement was made. pic.twitter.com/Aw7Jtu7frp
— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) June 28, 2022
On July 10, Sweden made a list of 10 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members to extradite to Turkey following the signature of the memorandum in Madrid.
The two Nordic countries have agreed to lift their embargoes on weapons deliveries to Turkey, which were imposed in response to Ankara’s 2019 military incursion into Syria.
Turkey has no response from Finland, Sweden on extraditions: Minister
However, on August 20, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said that Turkey has not received responses from Sweden and Finland on the extradition of members of the PKK and the organization of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen (FETO), deemed “terrorist” by Ankara, and has sent the Nordic nations a new application.
“We have not received a positive response to our extradition requests. We have sent the new application and reminded of our demands,” Bozdag told reporters.
A week ago, Bozdag said that an extradited individual from Scandinavia “had nothing to do with terrorist crimes,” and that Sweden and Finland did not satisfy Turkey’s extradition requests.
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