Finnish parliament to hold NATO vote while awaiting Hungary, Turkey decisions

HELSINKI, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Finland’s government said on Monday it had asked parliament to formally adopt NATO’s founding treaty, thus preparing the country for membership of the military alliance once hold-outs Hungary and Turkey approve the application.

“Our NATO membership moving forward is important for us Finns but also for NATO members,” Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told a news conference.

In May, Finland and neighbouring Sweden applied for membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but their applications are conditional on the approval of all 30 members, of which 28 have so far said yes.

While Hungary has said it expects to give a go-ahead in February, Turkey has accused the two Nordic countries of harbouring militants sought by Ankara and said that more must be done before the membership applications can be approved.

In May, 188 out of 200 members of parliament gave their backing for the application, with only eight votes against.

A simple majority in parliament will be enough to approve the NATO treaty as it requires no immediate changes to Finland’s existing legislation or powers to determine foreign and security policy, according to the foreign ministry.

Reporting by Anne Kauranen, editing by Terje Solsvik

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