Turkey has lifted the veto and NATO leaders are now welcoming Sweden and Finland into the defense alliance. At the same time, Turkey demands that the two countries extradite 33 people. “We have been clear in the discussions that in Sweden we follow Swedish and international law when it comes to extradition matters,” says Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (S).
The leaders of the NATO countries have now officially invited Sweden and Finland to the defense alliance.
A historic day for the Swedish people, says Magdalena Andersson (S) when she meets the press at the NATO meeting in Madrid.
– When we become a member of NATO, security for Sweden and Sweden’s population will increase, but it will also increase security for all members.
However, the Prime Minister estimates that it may now take up to a year before Sweden becomes a member of NATO and that member states “compete” to be the first to approve the application.
The NATO summit began in earnest on Wednesday when leaders of the 30 NATO countries gathered at the Madrid Fair on the outskirts of the Spanish capital.
It is the day after Turkey lifted its veto against Sweden and Finland becoming members of the alliance.
– At this summit, the entire alliance will welcome the historic applications of Finland and Sweden and the decision to leave neutrality, said US President Joe Biden before the invitation was made.
He added that it will make the whole of NATO stronger.
In Lithuania 2023?
Several other leaders have also welcomed Finland and Sweden into NATO.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauséda states that the two Nordic countries are close friends with whom they already work closely.
– Now we will have an even broader platform to collaborate from the outside, he says.
Nauséda adds that next year, NATO leaders will most likely hold a summit in Lithuania. He reckons that Finland and Sweden will then be members of NATO.
The host of the meeting, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in turn describes yesterday’s announcement as “an important milestone”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg states that the agreement between Sweden, Finland and Turkey shows NATO’s ability to stand together as allies.
– We will show that NATO’s door remains open by inviting Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, says Stoltenberg in his opening speech.
The NATO leaders’ welcome of Finland and Sweden is a political message, but a formal decision must also be made to invite the countries to the alliance. It is expected to be taken by NATO ambassadors in Brussels on Tuesday. In that case, an additional protocol to the NATO Treaty will also be sent out for ratification by NATO parliaments.
That protocol states that Finland and Sweden are members of NATO.
Now that the decision has been made, the two Nordic countries will have the status of invited countries. This means that Sweden and Finland may participate in all NATO meetings, but without the right to vote. The exceptions are meetings that concern nuclear weapons and that concern Sweden and Finland as members.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Russia is opposed to plans to expand NATO, which he says is “a destabilizing factor in international politics”.
It will not contribute to increased security for member states or affect Russia’s ability to guarantee its security, he added, according to Russian news agency Interfax, but reaffirms “the bloc’s aggressive policy of curbing Russia.”
After the two countries have received the status of invited, accession negotiations will be held. In practice, these are not negotiations, but rather a review of what NATO membership entails.
NATO’s collective defense and security guarantees will cover the two Nordic countries, as soon as the Additional Protocol has been ratified in all NATO countries and in the candidate countries themselves. When the ratification process can be completed is unclear. Estimates have been made that it can take anywhere from a few months up to a year.
The agreement that made Turkey lift its veto means, among other things, that Sweden will not support the Kurdish movements YPG and PYD or the Gülen movement.
Means “new commitments”
According to the Prime Minister, the agreement with Turkey contains three different parts. On the one hand, it is about things that Sweden is working on before, that the terrorist legislation has been tightened and will be tightened. The second is things that follow from Sweden becoming members.
– For example, it is natural that you will see the Swedish arms export differently, she says.
A third part is that Sweden together with Finland will work closely to fight terrorism and specifically the PKK, says Magdalena Andersson.
Turkey demands that 33 people – 12 people from Finland and 21 from Sweden – be extradited from Sweden and Finland.
– We are seeking extradition of terrorists from the countries concerned according to the framework from the new agreement, says Turkey’s Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag to the TV channel NTV on Wednesday.
Extraditions can be expected – the agreement states that Finland and Sweden will deal with Turkey’s request for the extradition of terror suspects in Turkey “quickly and thoroughly”. Only those involved in terrorism need to be concerned, the Prime Minister emphasizes.
– We never extradite Swedish citizens.
Facts: The agreement between Sweden, Finland and Turkey
This is what it says in the agreement between Turkey, Sweden and Finland, among other things:
“As prospective NATO members, Finland and Sweden will provide full support to Turkey against threats to its national security. Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the (Kurdish movements) YPG / PYD and the organization described as the FETÖ (Gülen movement) in Turkey.”
“Finland and Sweden condemn and reject terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in the strongest terms.”
“Finland and Sweden are committed to preventing the activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their outgrowths, as well as the activities of individuals in groups or networks connected or inspired by these terrorist organizations.”
“Finland and Sweden will investigate and ban all funding and recruitment activity from the PKK and other terrorist organizations and their branches.”
“Finland and Sweden will deal with Turkey’s pending deportation or deportation requests of terrorist suspects quickly and thoroughly, taking into account information, evidence and intelligence provided by Turkey, and establish the necessary legal framework to facilitate extradition and security cooperation with Turkey, in accordance with the European Convention on extradition. “
“Turkey, Finland and Sweden confirm that there are no national arms embargoes between them. Sweden is changing its national regulatory framework for arms exports to NATO members. In the future, arms exports from Finland and Sweden will be carried out in accordance with solidarity in the Alliance and with the text and the spirit of Article 3 of the Washington Treaty. “