Turkish MPs approve new NATO expansion — RT World News

The Turkish parliament voted in favor of Sweden joining NATO on Tuesday, after a 20-month stalemate due to tensions between Ankara and Stockholm.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson praised the Turkish lawmakers. “Today we are one step away from becoming a full member of NATO. It is positive that Turkey’s Grand General Assembly voted in favor of Sweden joining NATO. Christerson wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to sign the bill within days, according to the BBC. Hungary thus becomes the last member of the 31-nation coalition to agree to Sweden's request.

Ankara had previously refused to give the green light for Sweden's accession, demanding that the northern European country tighten its stance towards the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which Turkey considers a terrorist group. Turkey accused the Swedish authorities of harboring Kurdish activists linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party and demanded their extradition.

Sweden, along with neighboring Finland, applied to join the US-led bloc in May 2022, abandoning its long-standing non-alignment policy three months after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine.

Finland officially became a member of NATO in April 2023. With Helsinki's membership, the Western alliance has nearly doubled the length of its border with Russia.

Swedish politicians have urged the public to prepare for potential escalation, with Foreign Minister Tobias Billström warning this could happen. “Long-term confrontation” With Moscow.

All of this comes as NATO plans its largest war games in decades. NATO's Supreme Commander in Europe, Christopher Cavoli, announced last week that the exercise, dubbed “Steadfast Defender 2024,” will continue from February to May, and will involve about 90,000 soldiers from all 31 member states and Sweden.

Moscow has insisted for decades that NATO's continued expansion towards its borders poses a threat to its national security, and points to the alliance's relations with Ukraine as one of the root causes of the current conflict.

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