US Senate approved accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. On Wednesday, August 3, the upper house of Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of expanding the North Atlantic Alliance: 95 senators were in favor of increasing the number of countries participating in the bloc, and only one was against it. “This historic vote is an important signal of the United States’ continued, unbiased commitment to NATO and the readiness of our alliance for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges,” US President Joseph Biden said.
Thus, 23 out of 30 NATO member states, including Germany, have already agreed to receive Finland and Sweden. The documents on their entry must be ratified by all members of the alliance. Only then will both Nordic countries be protected by Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which describes the principle of collective defense.
Turkish objections to the accession of Sweden and Finland
Sweden and Finland in May abandoned traditional neutrality against the backdrop of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine and applied for membership in NATO. The alliance launched the procedure for the admission of two countries to NATO at the end of June after the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdraws objections against the accession of Sweden and Finland to the bloc.
Official Ankara demanded that Helsinki and Stockholm extradite alleged Kurdish extremists and those suspected of involvement in the 2016 coup attempt. Erdogan later accused Sweden of not fulfilling those promises.