First NATO member ratifies bloc expansion

is the first of the alliance’s 30 members to formally approve membership for and

Canadian lawmakers have voted to ratify NATO membership for Stockholm and , after the US-led collective met in to sign accession protocols for the two Nordic nations.

Prime Minister announced the move on Tuesday, which said that the of Canada raised the issue “as soon as possible” and voted unanimously for the two to join the alliance.

“Today, Canada became the first country to ratify the accession protocols of Finland and Sweden to join NATO. This brings the two countries one step closer to full membership,” the prime minister said, adding that Ottawa has “full confidence” that both nations will “integrate. quickly and effectively in NATO and contribute to the Alliance’s collective defense. “

Trudeau’s comments come after NATO leaders met in earlier in the day to sign the protocols, which must be ratified by each Member State’s parliament. Although Canada pushed through ratification within hours, the process could take several months to complete as legislators from dozens of countries now have to reach an agreement on the issue.

By applying to join NATO earlier this year, Finland and Sweden broke with their long-standing traditions of neutrality, citing security concerns after Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February. While most members immediately welcomed them into the alliance, their bid was put on hold by Turkey, which accused both of harboring Kurdish militants and promoting “terrorism”.

Despite several warnings from Ankara, however, Turkey ended its objections last week after the two Nordic countries signed a 10-point agreement under which they promised to address the terrorist allegations and remove export controls on, among other things, Turkish goods. The agreement seems to have resolved the stalemate, although Turkish President Recep Erdogan has warned that he could block the process again if his country’s demands are not met.



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