Finland’s parliament overwhelmingly backed its bid to join NATO on Wednesday, the assembly’s speaker said.

The approval of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization treaties and the accession of Finland passed with 184 members of the 200-seat parliament voting in favour, seven against and one abstention.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Finland last May applied to join NATO, having until now relied solely on its own military to defend the 800-mile border it shares with Russia.

New NATO members must be approved by all existing members of the Western military alliance, and support for Finland’s application remains pending from Turkey and Hungary.

By adopting NATO’s founding documents, Finland may gain an advantage over neighboring Sweden, which also applied to join, but Turkey delayed its application.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country is ready to accept Finland into NATO but accuses Sweden of harboring people it considers members of terrorist groups.

Sweden is also awaiting approval from Hungary, whose parliament began debating the ratifications on Wednesday and could hold a vote this month.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said last week that his goal was to have both Nordic countries as members in time for a summit scheduled for July.

Por admin