President seals Finland's NATO bid by signing required laws

The Finnish president on March 23 formally sealed the Nordic country's historic bid to join NATO by signing into law the required national legal amendments needed for membership in the Western military alliance.

The move by President Sauli Niinistö means Finland has completed national measures needed to join NATO, and is now just awaiting approval from Türkiye and Hungary, the only two of NATO's 30 existing members that haven't ratified its bid.

In Türkiye Thursday, a parliamentary committee approved Finland's NATO application, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported, bringing Helsinki a step closer to joining the alliance.

Members of the Turkish parliament's committee on foreign affairs voted in favor of Finland's bid a week after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his country would move forward with ratifying it.

Finland's application could be ratified by the full Turkish assembly, where Erdoğan's party and its allies hold a majority, as early as next week. Türkiye has presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for May 14, and ratification is expected before that.

Admitting new countries requires unanimous approval from the alliance members, and the parliaments in Ankara and Budapest haven't yet given the green light.

After delays of several months, the Hungarian parliament is finally expected to approve Finland's accession on March 27.

Finland's 200-seat Eduskunta legislature endorsed the country's NATO bid with an overwhelming 184-7 majority on March 1.

Finland and neighboring Sweden applied to become NATO members 10 months ago in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, abandoning decades of nonalignment.

This is seen by many experts as one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications...

Continue reading on: