PARIS, August 14. /TASS/. French President Emmanuel Macron signed protocols on NATO accession for Finland and Sweden on Saturday, AFP reported with reference to the Elysee Palace.
"This sovereign choice by Finland and Sweden will strengthen their security in the face of the existing threat in their immediate vicinity and will make a significant contribution to the collective position and our European security," the press service of the French leader's administration was quoted as saying.
On August 3, the National Assembly (lower house of parliament) of France ratified the protocol on the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO must be ratified by all members of the bloc. To date, more than 20 of the 30 countries that make up the alliance have done that.
On May 18, Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO, but Turkey immediately blocked the accession process, demanding that these countries declare Kurdish organizations terrorist, extradite those accused of terrorism or participating in a coup attempt in 2016 to Ankara, and lift bans on weapons supply to Turkey. On June 28, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Sweden, and Finland signed a memorandum that removes obstacles to the accession of the two countries to NATO, but later Ankara said that it was not final and the Turkish parliament might not approve it if Stockholm and Helsinki did not comply with the provisions enshrined in it has obligations to counter terrorist organizations.