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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Germany Ratifies Finland and Sweden’s NATO Bids

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaking during a press conference in Kyiv on June 16, 2022. | Image by Ludovic Marin, AFP via Le Monde

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Germany ratified Finland and Sweden’s NATO memberships on Friday, three days after 30 countries approved the most significant expansion of the alliance in nearly two decades.

Germany’s parliament and the German Bundesrat, which represents the federal states, approved the admission protocols for both Finland and Sweden.

Reuters reported that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz responded to the ratification by stating, “This creates more security – for all NATO members and for Europe.”

Before Finland and Sweden are protected by the NATO defense clause, which declares that an assault on one member is an attack against all, the documents must be accepted by the parliaments of all 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members.

While ratification could take up to a year, Helsinki and Stockholm can already participate in NATO meetings and have more access to intelligence during that period.

Both nations have received repeated warnings from the Kremlin not to join NATO. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated on March 12, “There will be serious military and political consequences.”

One day after Turkey’s position on their membership changed, NATO leaders formally asked Finland and Sweden to join the alliance on June 29. This move could initiate one of the coalition’s most significant expansions since 2004.

The Russian conflict in Ukraine is forcing the neutral and non-aligned Scandinavian nations to seek security, which could lead to the alliance’s future extension.

In response to the news of NATO’s expansion, Putin stated that Moscow would retaliate in kind if the alliance stationed troops and bases in Finland and Sweden.

On June 29, Putin said on Russian state television, “With Sweden and Finland, we don’t have the problems that we have with Ukraine. They want to join NATO, go ahead. But they must understand there was no threat before, while now if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond in kind and create the same threats for the territories from which threats towards us are created.”

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