President of Finland: NATO’s ratification process underway "faster than expected"

President of Finland: NATO’s ratification process underway  "faster than expected"

The President of Finland responds to the U.S. Senate’s ratification of Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership application Sauli Niinistö said Thursday that the process is moving quickly.

With Senate ratification, the United States became the 23rd of NATO’s 30 member states to accept Nordic membership within a few months.

On Wednesday, the Senate approved by a vote of 95 to 1 the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

"I think [the membership process] has progressed even faster than previously estimated. For example, in the case of the United States, some thought that the midterm elections in the fall might postpone the election [ratification vote]. It moved bewilderingly quickly in the United States and in the 22 countries that have ratified it," Niinistö told Yle on Thursday afternoon.

The President of Finland stated that the ratification is also an expression of will that, according to the United States, Finland and Sweden are welcome to the protection offered by Article 5 of NATO.

This clause of the North Atlantic Treaty means that an armed attack against one member of the alliance is considered an attack against all members and must be defended by them.

However, Niinistö pointed out that since these security measures require full membership in NATO, there are no such security guarantees for both Nordic countries yet.

"At least I’m not terribly anxious. Our negotiations with Turkey continue," Niinistö said, referring to the Turkish president’s demands Recep Tayyip Erdoganwho has said that his country would freeze Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO bids if Ankara’s promises are not fulfilled.

Niinistö said he would not try to predict how long it would take the remaining NATO member states to vote on the issue.

"Yes, the process has gone well so far, and it will continue. I believe that there will be more ratifications soon," he said.

Source: The Nordic Page

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