The accession protocols required for the admission of Sweden and Finland are to be signed this Tuesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The morning ceremony will involve representatives of all 30 member states. Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde and her Finnish colleague Pekka Haavisto are also expected as guests.
By signing the accession protocols, the governments of the NATO countries authorize the Secretary General of the alliance to officially invite Sweden and Finland to join. However, before the protocols can come into force, they still have to be ratified by the states. The national parliament is usually also involved in this procedure.
According to estimates, it could therefore take another six to eight months before Finland and Sweden can actually be admitted to the alliance.
Actually, the protocols for the two Nordic countries should have been signed several weeks ago. However, Turkey blocked the accession process, citing Sweden and Finland’s alleged support of “terrorist organizations” such as the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK, the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG and the Gülen movement as a reason. Only when both countries pledged in writing on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid last week that they would respond to several of Turkey’s demands did Turkey give up its resistance to the start of the admissions process.