MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the Turkish parliament’s decision to ratify the protocol of Finland’s accession to NATO.
"I welcome the vote of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to complete the ratification of Finland’s accession. This will make the whole NATO family stronger and safer," he wrote on Twitter.
The parliament of Turkey approved a bill to ratify a protocol on Finland’s accession to NATO on Thursday night. All 276 lawmakers present in the parliamentary hall voted in favor. Therefore, Finland has obtained legal grounds for joining the alliance.
Turkey was the remaining NATO member to approve Helsinki’s bid. Earlier, the process was also delayed by Hungary, but the country passed a relevant bill on March 27.
In May 2022, Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership, however, their entry bid was immediately stonewalled by Ankara. Turkey demanded that the Nordic countries declare Kurdish organizations to be terrorist ones, extradite persons to Turkey, who are accused of terrorist activity or aiding and abetting the 2016 coup d’etat attempt, along with removing bans on arms supplies to Turkey. In order to settle these differences, the three countries signed a joint memorandum in the run-up to the NATO summit in 2022. The document contains a roadmap of practical measures that the two northern countries are to take if they want to join the military alliance.
Ankara later reconsidered its attitude toward Helsinki, noting that it generally complied with the terms of the agreement.