By Tom Hurley • 05 July 2022 • 14:13
Image of Vladimir Putin.
Credit: Sasa Dzambic Photography/Shutterstock.com
Accession protocols were signed by all 30 NATO allies in Brussels on Tuesday, July 5, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine under the direction of Vladimir Putin.
This means that the membership bids of both Finland and Sweden to join NATO will be sent to the alliance capitals for legislative approvals.
Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that “this is truly a historic moment for Finland, for Sweden and for NATO.”
Some NATO countries are already making plans to approve their membership bids, which will be unwelcome news to Vladimir Putin and Russia.
The German parliament are set to meet on the issue on Friday, July 8, although other countries may not vote on membership approval until after their summer break.
Should Finland and Sweden be confirmed as NATO members, it will add two more countries with strong military and strategic power to the list of NATO nations that are against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I look forward to a swift ratification process,” said Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has given the process added urgency,” he said. “It will ensconce the two nations in the Western military alliance and give NATO more clout, especially in the face of Moscow’s military threat.”
While not officials members of NATO yet, the signing of accession protocols means Finland and Sweden are now official invitees, and can attend all meetings of the ambassadors.
“We will be even stronger and our people will be even safer as we face the biggest security crisis in decades,” said Stoltenberg.
A top Russian businessman who was connected to the state-owned oil company Gazprom was found dead near St. Petersburg on Tuesday, July 5.
Video circulated online on Monday, July 4 showed two Russian T-80BV tanks being towed after Czech volunteer forces captured them from the frontline in Izium, Ukraine.
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