The Turkish Parliament has officially ratified Finland’s membership in NATO, clearing the way for Finland to become the alliance’s 31st member.
Until the war in Ukraine, the Nordic country had been ‘neutral’ on the world stage in terms of military alliances.
Following the outbreak of the war, Finland and Sweden, which share borders with Russia, rushed to join NATO, fearing they would be the next targets of Russian aggression.
The Kremlin previously stated that the potential move was a “definite threat” that would be met with “retaliatory measures.”
On Thursday night, March 30, Turkey’s parliament ratified Finland’s application to join Nato, removing the final impediment to the country’s long-delayed membership in the Western military alliance.
All 276 lawmakers present voted in favour of Finland’s bid, days after Hungary’s parliament also endorsed Finland’s accession.
Sweden’s bid to join the alliance, meanwhile, was paused by Turkey, with both Turkey and Hungary refusing to give it the green light.
Turkey’s government accuses Sweden of being too lenient toward groups it deems to be terrorist organizations and security threats, including militant Kurdish groups and people associated with a 2016 coup attempt.
More recently, Turkey was angered by a series of demonstrations in Sweden, including a protest by an anti-Islam activist who burned the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy.
Full support from all NATO’s 30 members is required to admit new members, and Turkey and Hungary were the last two NATO members to ratify Finland’s accession.