Turkish Parliament Finally Ratifies Sweden's NATO Membership, Clearing the Path to Counter Russia's Aggression

Turkish Parliament Finally Ratifies Swedens NATO Membership, Clearing the Path to Counter Russias Aggression

Turkey's parliament has finally ratified Sweden's NATO membership after more than a year of delays, marking a crucial step in bolstering Western efforts to counter Russia's war on Ukraine. The vote, with 287 in favor and 55 against, paves the way for Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson to declare, "Today we are one step closer to becoming a full member of NATO." NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed the move and urged Hungary to follow suit and complete its national ratification, emphasizing that Sweden's membership will make NATO stronger and all of us safer.

With Turkey's approval, Hungary is now the last remaining obstacle in the accession process that Sweden and Finland began in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago. The delay in Sweden's ratification stemmed from objections by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who initially raised concerns about Stockholm's perceived acceptance of Kurdish groups and later shifted focus to an unmet US pledge to deliver F-16 fighter jets. Erdogan's demands led to accusations of Ankara's blackmailing of its Western partners, with opposition lawmaker Cengiz Candar criticizing Turkey for violating the pillars of foreign policy: predictability, credibility, and consistency.

On the other hand, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's unexpected tiff with Swedish leaders over negotiations on Sweden's NATO candidacy has added an additional layer of complexity to the process. Despite Orban's invitation for Kristersson to discuss the bid in Budapest, Swedish officials rebuffed the notion of negotiations, pointing out that Hungary has not presented conditions when Sweden was invited at the 2022 NATO summit in Madrid.

The German foreign ministry has underscored the need for Hungary to conclude the remaining steps so that Sweden can be formally welcomed into the Alliance. With the impending signing of Sweden's ratification document by President Erdogan, the protracted saga of Sweden's NATO membership is finally coming to a resolution, cementing Western resolve in the face of Russia's aggression.

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