On Thursday, Turkey’s parliament approved a bill allowing Finland to become a member of NATO, making it the last member of the alliance to ratify Finland’s membership.
This move clears the way for Finland to join the Western defense alliance amid ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Hungary’s legislature had previously approved a similar bill earlier in the week. Finland and Sweden had both asked to join NATO last year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the process was delayed by Turkey and Hungary.
However, Turkey has yet to approve Sweden’s membership bid, citing concerns about the country’s actions against groups Turkey considers terrorists. The U.S. State Department has welcomed Turkey’s ratification of Finland’s membership and encouraged it to quickly ratify Sweden’s accession as well. Finland’s membership would represent the first enlargement since North Macedonia joined the alliance in 2020.
The final step in the process will be for Finland to deliver its “instrument of accession” document signed by its foreign minister to the U.S. government, at which point the country will formally become a NATO member.