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Polish Sejm approves ratification of Finland, Sweden’s NATO accession

Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament, has almost unanimously approved the bills allowing Polish President to ratify the Finland and Sweden accession to NATO. The bills will be now sent to the Senate.

The MPs voted separately on the accession of Sweden and Finland. The former’s membership in NATO was supported by 442 MPs, while the latter’s – by 440 MPs out of 460.

Both Nordic countries have been invited to join the North Atlantic Pact during the recent summit in Madrid. Formally, the accession has to be approved by all NATO member states.

In Poland, the ratification of the accession has to be approved by the Parliament and later signed by President Andrzej Duda, who also formally ratifies the documents related to new member states.

So far, Denmark, Norway, Island and Canada have approved the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Last Tuesday, all NATO’s states signed an accession protocol for both Nordic countries, allowing them to join the nuclear-armed alliance once parliaments ratify the decision. This would be the most significant expansion of the alliance since the 1990s.

The signing at NATO headquarters follows a deal with Turkey at last week’s NATO summit in Madrid, where Ankara lifted its veto on the Nordic membership bids following assurances that both countries would do more to fight terrorism.

Turkey had opposed the two countries’ bids over what it called support for Kurdish militants and others it views as terrorists, as well as over arms embargoes and unfulfilled extradition requests. Last week, the three nations signed a deal for Ankara to remove its block, while Finland and Sweden agreed to “address Turkey’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly in accordance with the European Convention on Extradition.”

On Wednesday, Turkey renewed requests for Sweden and Finland to extradite individuals it considers terrorists.

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