NATO's 30 Members Pen Accession Protocols for Sweden, Finland


The 30 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have signed off on the accession protocols for Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance on the back of worries about Russian President Vladimir Putin's wider ambitions, following the invasion of Ukraine.

"This is truly a historic moment for Finland, for Sweden and for NATO," the NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Russia has repeatedly warned Finland and Sweden against joining the NATO.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the parliament could refuse to ratify the deal and block the process if Sweden and Finland failed to extradite people linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and followers of Fethullah Gulen.

Last week, a joint memorandum was signed between Turkey, Finland and Sweden in Madrid ahead of the NATO summit, in which Turkey had agreed to support Finland and Sweden's entry into the NATO as they all confirmed their commitment "to extend their full support against threats to each other's security."

Meanwhile, Ukrainian city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region came under "massive shelling," its Mayor Vadim Lyakh said on Facebook, urging residents to take cover in shelters. 

Lyakh added that shelling damaged 40 houses on Monday.

Moreover, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said yesterday that the offensive in Ukraine would continue until all of the goals set by Putin are achieved, adding that "excluding the threat to the security of civilians" is one of the main priorities for Russia.