NATO | “This went even more preferentially than was perhaps the first estimate” – Foreign Minister Haavisto is happy about the progress of NATO ratifications

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (green) considers it possible that all NATO countries would have discussed Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership by the end of this year.

Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (vihr) says that it is happy with the pace at which the ratification of Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership has progressed in the national parliaments of the member countries.

“When you look at the entire group of 30 countries, we’ve been on good pace and you can say that this went even more favorably than what was perhaps the first estimate,” Haavisto tells HS.

He considers it possible that all NATO countries would have dealt with the matter by the end of this year.

“But of course, when we saw those Turkey bends before the Madrid summit, so many kinds of delays are possible. But now the situation looks pretty good.”

Everyone’s The current member countries of NATO must ratify, that is, confirm the accession protocols of Finland and Sweden according to their own national practices, so that Finland and Sweden can become full members of the alliance.

The ratification round started on July 5, i.e. just under two weeks ago, when the NATO countries signed the accession protocols of Finland and Sweden and the countries became so-called observer members.

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HS follow-up membership is now politically blessed in half of NATO’s 30 member countries. There are member countries, for example Croatia, whose ratification there was some discussion beforehand.

The ratification becomes final when the countries submit the ratification documents to the US State Department.

Read more: Half of the NATO countries have now accepted Finland’s membership, the latest being Croatia – HS follows ratification country by country

Haavisto separately praises the fact that the ratification is progressing regionally smoothly and that blessings are coming from all sides.

At the moment, according to him, the focus is primarily on the United States and Italy in terms of ratifications.

The perception is that the US Senate’s foreign affairs committee would consider the issue this week, says Haavisto. The voting date is not yet known. However, the US Senate is aiming to deal with the membership before its summer recess, which is scheduled to begin in early August.

“So it’s also a pretty good model, and of course it has a great symbolic meaning when the United States has accepted this,” says Haavisto.

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Italy is being monitored because the country’s political situation is currently confused. Prime minister Mario Draghi has announced his desire to resign.

“In Italy, of course, the general political situation can cause delays in this, but otherwise – if things go as normal – then Italy will also proceed on schedule and would certainly have dealt with this by the beginning of autumn,” says Haavisto.

Read more: Draghi wants to resign, even though no one demands it and he has the government’s support – Where does Italy’s government crisis come from?

Is it Is it possible that ratification will still be a problem for Turkey?

“After that spring’s adventure, it has to be said that there can always be surprises, but of course we have now tried to minimize the number of surprises,” he says.

Finland, Sweden and Turkey signed the so-called at the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June memorandum of understandingwith which Turkey ended its delay and Finland and Sweden became observer members of NATO.

In the document, Turkey committed to support the membership of Finland and Sweden. Finland and Sweden, on the other hand, gave their “full support” to Turkey regarding its security concerns.

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Shortly after the agreement, the president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan however, hinted that Turkey could halt membership progress again if the document, according to its interpretation, is not followed. He presented the threat again on Monday.

Haavisto says that now the cooperation will continue according to the document.

It agreed, among other things, on a cooperation mechanism that allows the countries to intensify their cooperation related to the fight against terrorism and the prevention of organized crime.

The matter has been prepared, but according to Haavisto’s information, the dates for the first meeting have not been locked. The idea has been that the first meetings could be organized in August, he says.

Haavisto says that, according to his understanding, Turkey has not made any new demands on Finland after the Madrid summit.

“Of course, we hope that the signal in the direction of Turkey is strong, that we stick to what has been agreed, and then from their side we also hope that the schedule moves forward.”

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