German Parliament ratifies Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership

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Germany’s parliament on Friday approved the applications of Finland and Sweden to join NATO, a decision supported by the parties of the ruling center-left coalition and the conservative alliance between the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU).

Thus, part of the parliamentarians of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) have also supported the entry of these countries into the Alliance, while The Left has voted against.

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“Today we are strengthening NATO’s democratic values,” said German State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Tobias Lindner during the debate prior to the vote, as reported by the German news agency DPA.

Finland and Sweden had refused for decades to apply for NATO membership, but have changed their position as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, unleashed on February 24 on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Both countries took a further step on Tuesday in joining NATO with the signing of their accession protocol, with which they become ‘de facto’ members of the military alliance pending formal ratification. In the aftermath, NATO Director General Jens Stoltenberg spoke of a “historic day”.

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The accession of Sweden and Finland was unblocked at the Madrid summit on June 29-30, when the leaders invited both candidates, after an agreement was reached in the run-up to the meeting for Turkey to lift its veto in exchange for a greater commitment from the Scandinavian countries in the fight against the terrorist group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

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