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Mar 22, 2023
Swedish Parliament Passes Law Approving Country Joining NATO
(Bloomberg) -- Sweden’s parliament passed legal amendments to allow the largest Nordic country join the NATO alliance as soon as possible, even after the timeline for its entry has been thrown in doubt.
Lawmakers voted 269-37 to back the legislation in a vote in Stockholm on Wednesday, with none abstaining. The amendments will pave the path for Sweden to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while its application is stalled by holdout members Hungary and Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been a particularly vocal opponent of Sweden’s application, accusing Sweden of not doing enough to crack down on groups that Turkey labels as terrorist. There’s been a significant pressure from NATO allies for Sweden’s membership to be ratified before the Vilnius summit in July.
The country and its Nordic neighbor Finland, also a long-time NATO opt-out, submitted their applications together with the shared hope of the countries joining together. Hopes for a parallel entry process were dashed last week by Erdogan’s decision to instruct the lawmakers to ratify the Finnish application alone. Some analysts have speculated whether this would lead to lower support among the Swedes to the entry.
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 quickly triggered Sweden to change its stance on NATO after having for decades elected to stand outside of the alliance. The events prompted Swedes to support their country joining the alliance after earlier opposing it.
Read more: Sweden to Pursue NATO Entry as Turkey Decouples Nordic Bids
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