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Finland's Nato bid progresses in final parliamentary stages

The Turkish and Hungarian Parliaments are moving towards ratification of Finland's Nato bid.

Presidentti Sauli Niinistön ja Turkin presidentin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğanin tapaaminen Ankarassa, 17.3.2023
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met last weekend in Ankara. Image: Murat /Cetin Muhurdar / EPA
Yle News

Finland's NATO membership took significant steps forward on Thursday, with ratification proceedings progressing in the parliaments of Turkey and Hungary.

In Ankara, the country's foreign affairs committee approved the ratification of Finland's NATO membership. The committee unanimously supported Finland's accession to the alliance.

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Burak Akcapar presented the proposal for Finland's ratification and reminded that Turkey was only progressing with the ratification of Finland's application, not Sweden's.

"From the beginning of the process, Finland has been more prepared and determined to meet our country's expectations," Akcapar said, according to the Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

Akcapar cited Finland's actions which included police interventions in demonstrations that had displayed symbols of groups classified as terrorist organisations by Turkey, as well as the lifting of restrictions on defence equipment exports.

The foreign affairs committee sent its decision on the ratification proposal to parliament, which will make the final ratification decision.

Finland's progressing Nato bid

Hungary vote moves forward

Meanwhile, Hungary announced that its parliament would consider the ratification of Finland's NATO membership next Monday. Finland's ratification will be the second item on the agenda of the parliament's afternoon session, and according to Yle, the crucial vote will take place no earlier than 5 pm Finnish time.

Hungary's parliament will also consider the ratification of Sweden's membership, but no vote on Sweden's membership is expected.

Hungary and Turkey are the last remaining of Nato's 30 member states that need to ratify Finland's application for the defence alliance.

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