Canada is the first to sign for Finland, Sweden joins NATO

Canada became the first country to ratify Finland and Sweden’s accession protocols to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.

The move follows NATO leaders officially inviting the two nations to join the alliance at a summit in Madrid last week, and brings the two countries one step closer to becoming full NATO members.

“Canada has full confidence in Finland’s and Sweden’s ability to integrate quickly and effectively into NATO and contribute to the collective defense of the Alliance,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“Their membership will make NATO stronger and we call on all NATO members to act quickly to complete their ratification processes to limit the opportunities for interference by adversaries.”

According to The Associated Press, all 30 NATO allies signed the accession protocols on Tuesday and sent the membership offers to each country for regulatory approval. Both Canada and Denmark were quick to turn over their ratification documents.

“Thank you Canada! Canada is the first country to submit its instrument of ratification to the United States Department of State, the depository of the North Atlantic Treaty!” tweeted the Swedish ambassador to Canada Urban Ahlin.

In Canada, the federal government has taken steps domestically to speed up ratification, Trudeau said. This included issuing Council orders authorizing Secretary of State Melanie Joly to “take the necessary steps to ratify on behalf of Canada”.

Ahead of Parliament’s suspension for the summer, the House of Commons debated and voted on a motion expressing their support for Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO.

In May, the House Public Safety and National Security Committee passed a motion expressing “strong support” for the two Scandinavian countries’ membership in the alliance. The motion also called on all NATO members to approve their applications as soon as possible.

This motion was debated on 1 June and passed unanimously the following day.

“Russia’s war in Ukraine has realized something that was once only theoretical. An authoritarian state led by an autocrat has attacked a democracy: it has shown that it is willing and able to attack a democracy. It has “It has become clear that democracies that stand alone and that are not part of military alliances are the most vulnerable,” said Conservative MP and critic of foreign affairs Michael Chong during the House debate. Sweden and Finland to join the NATO alliance. This is an urgent matter.”

NDP MP and critic of foreign affairs Heather McPherson, who also took part in the debate, said she supports Finland and Sweden to do everything they can to prevent their country from being further threatened by Russia.

“Before the further invasion of Ukraine, support for NATO membership was about 20 to 30 percent in Sweden and Finland. Now 76 percent of the Finnish population supports joining NATO. Very simple are Vladimir Putin and the aggression of the Russian Federation responsible for escalating tensions in the region and leading Sweden and Finland to join NATO,” McPherson said.

Since NATO member states have different processes for completing ratification, it could be some time before the two nations become formally part of the long-standing intergovernmental military alliance.

With files from Senior Political Correspondent for CTV News Channel Mike Le Couteur

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