STOCKHOLM, December 5./TASS/. The Finnish government has submitted a bill to parliament on the country’s NATO membership, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told a news conference after an emergency government meeting.
"The government has just handed the bill on NATO membership to parliament," the top diplomat said. "We have taken another step toward joining the Alliance," he added.
The document addresses the key implications of Finland's accession to NATO, especially in the areas of foreign policy, security and defense, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"As a member of NATO, Finland will commit to the North Atlantic Treaty and will participate in all aspects of NATO," the statement said. The document also addresses the issues of cooperation between the government and the president, the role of parliament in handling NATO issues and making decisions on those issues as well as the international legal status of the Aland Islands.
The Finnish parliament may consider the government’s proposal before the ratification of its NATO membership by all countries of the Alliance. After the bill is read by the parliament, the president will decide on Finland’s accession to NATO. Before Hungary and Turkey ratify the agreement on Finland's accession to NATO, the document may be sent to the US authorities for safekeeping.
On May 18, Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership. However, their entry bid was immediately stonewalled by Ankara who demanded that the Nordic countries declare Kurdish organizations to be terrorist ones, extradite persons to Turkey, who have been accused of terrorist activity or aiding and abetting the 2016 coup d’etat attempt, along with removing bans on arms supplies to Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andresson, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on June 28, ahead of the Madrid-hosted NATO summit. The talks yielded a memorandum on Sweden’s and Finland’s accession to NATO, which is to be ratified by all the bloc’s member states.
Early in July, the foreign ministers of Finland and Sweden, as well as the ambassadors of 30 NATO member countries signed protocols on the accession of these two countries. Helsinki and Stockholm will join NATO after all countries of the Alliance ratify the documents. Hungary intends to ratify the agreement in February 2023.