News   /   France   /   Editor's Choice

Macron signs NATO membership protocols for Finland, Sweden

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
France's President Emmanuel Macron signs in the golden book at the presidential palace in Bissau, on July 28, 2022. (File photo by AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron has signed the ratification protocols for the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO.

"This sovereign choice of Finland and Sweden, two European partners, will strengthen their security in the face of the current threat in their immediate neighborhood and will make a significant contribution, given the capabilities of these two partners, to the collective posture and to our European security," the Elysée Palace said in an announcement on Saturday.

France’s parliament had earlier this month ratified Sweden and Finland’s bids to join the military alliance.

Both Nordic countries passed with 209 deputies in favor of their accession, and 46 against it.

So far, 20 out of 30 NATO member states have ratified the membership of Sweden and Finland. However, all the member states of NATO have to approve of any newcomers to join.

The two countries, long resistant to joining NATO, sought membership in the Alliance after Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine in August.

Their NATO bids were only accepted after Turkey lifted its veto on their membership following the signing of a trilateral memorandum on June 28.

But Turkish officials have said that if the two countries fail to abide by the agreement, Ankara could still block their membership bids.

Turkey had opposed Finland's and Sweden's membership bids due to their backing of groups which support autonomy-seeking Kurds.

Russia has also protested the two northern European countries NATO bids, citing the Alliance's expansion as a threat to the Russian motherland.

Moscow has described the US-led efforts to expand NATO as an attempt by the West to annihilate Russia.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier this year that Moscow sees NATO's expansion across Europe as a threat and destabilizing factor.

"We consider the expansion of the North Atlantic alliance to be a purely destabilizing factor in international affairs. It does not add security either to those who are expanding it, those joining it or to other countries that perceive the alliance as a threat," the Interfax news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying.

Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against the Alliance’s encroachment on its western borders, vowing to take appropriate retaliatory action against countries that pose a threat to it.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku