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Finland’s parliament overwhelmingly supports NATO membership


Finland’s parliament overwhelmingly backed its bid for NATO membership on Wednesday, the assembly speaker said.

Approval of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization treaties and Finland’s membership passed with 184 members of the 200-seat parliament voting in favour, seven against and one abstaining.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Finland applied last May to join NATO, relying so far only on its own armed forces to defend the 800-meter border. miles that it shares with Russia.

New NATO entrants must be approved by all existing members of the Western military alliance, and support for Finland’s bid remains pending from Turkey and Hungary.

By adopting NATO’s founding documents, Finland could get a head start on neighboring Sweden, which has also applied to join but whose application has been accepted by Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country is ready to accept Finland into NATO, but accuses Sweden of harboring people he considers to be members of terrorist groups.

Sweden is also still awaiting approval from Hungary, whose parliament began debating ratifications on Wednesday and could hold a vote this month.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said last week he wanted the two Nordic countries to join in time for a summit scheduled for July.

nbcnews Gt

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