SPAIN. Madrid: Spain’s parliament ratified the entry of Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Thursday. The country thus unified the two Nordic countries under a strong alliance in its most significant expansion since the 1990s as it reels under the pressure of the ongoing Russia Ukraine crisis.
Following Putin’s “special military operation,” which began on February 24 that wreaked havoc in Ukraine and one of its most volatile zones, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Sweden and Finland got the cue to apply for NATO membership.
Russia has warned the two countries against its unification under the NATO umbrella and consistently maintains that the Ukraine conflict is nothing more than a mere “special military operation”.
Meanwhile, NATO allies signed the accession protocol for the two countries in July. It must be ratified by the parliaments of all its members before Finland and Sweden can be protected by the defense clause.
Following Spain’s ratification, five countries remain on the list, and complete approval could take up to a year.
The lower house approved the accession with 290 votes in favor, 11 votes against, and 47 abstentions.
“It is a historic result because we are consolidating NATO as an alliance of free and voluntary democracies that are united to defend peace,” Sergio Gutierrez, a lawmaker for the ruling Socialist Party, said on Thursday.
The need to unite as a formidable force to “defend peace” is the ultimate need of the hour as Russia continues to pound swathes of land in Ukraine, trying to destabilize the military with the supposed intention of ‘protecting’ Russian-speaking minorities and taking out staunch nationalists.
On the other hand, Ukraine has achieved several battle gains in the past week. It continues to counteract Russian aggression with daunting force and counter-offensive measures, reclaiming land at a significant rate, much higher than it was at the start of the conflict.
As the world holds its breath for the storm to pass, the West continues to pledge its support for Ukraine, supplying it with military ammo and state-of-the-art technology to restore peace.