Finnish president signs North Atlantic Treaty ratification act

Photo: PAP

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö signed the NATO ratification act on Thursday, ratified by the Finnish parliament on March 1.

Finland is “ready to fully enter” NATO structures and become a full ally following the president's signature, according to the main Finnish media, posting images of the historic document.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after meeting with President Niinistö in Ankara last week, gave the long-awaited permission for admitting Finland into NATO, but without Sweden for now. On Thursday, the ratification of the Finnish protocol is to be discussed by the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. The Hungarian parliament is due to vote on the matter on Monday.

So far, 28 out of 30 members of the North Atlantic Alliance have ratified the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. Only Turkey and Hungary have not.

The 184-to-7 vote in the 200-seat unicameral Finnish Parliament Eduskunta on March 1 ratified Finland’s NATO membership. Joining NATO is the most significant development in Finnish foreign and security policy since the nation’s entry into the EU in the mid-1990s.

In May 2022, Finland and Sweden simultaneously submitted applications for membership to NATO in response to Russia’s military assault on Ukraine. So far, neutrality has been the policy for both Nordic nations, having had status of NATO observer members, since July of last year.

Finland will formally join the Alliance once the act of admission has been deposited in the U.S. and approved by all NATO nations.