HELSINKI (AP) – Finland’s Parliament gave final approval Wednesday to the Nordic country’s bid to join NATO, with lawmakers signing off on membership along with the required legislation.
The 200-seat Eduskunta legislature voted 184-7 to authorize Finland’s accession to NATO, clearing the last required domestic hurdle to becoming part of the 30-member Western military alliance.
Two of NATO’s 30 existing members, Turkey and Hungary, have yet to ratify the joint application Finland and neighboring Sweden made last year. Admitting new members requires unanimous approval.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s center-left government initiated the vote, seeking to secure the approval of her country’s lawmakers before an April 2 general election.
President Sauli Niinisto has pledged to sign Wednesday’s legislative decisions into law before the election.
Finland and Sweden, which are close partners culturally, economically and politically, applied together to join NATO in May 2022. Their bid is historic as Finland has remained military non-aligned since World War II, and Sweden has not been in a military conflict in the past 200 years.
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