Canada: First country to ratify Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO
Canada is the first country to ratify Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO shortly after the alliance agreed on the expansion.
Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO has been formally ratified, given the accelerated process, by the first NATO member, Canada. The ratification by Ottawa took place shortly after the member nations signed off on the alliance’s expansion.
Before the two nations can join NATO, the accession protocol is required to be signed by the parliaments of all 30 members. Once signed, Finland and Sweden become officially protected by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, essentially the NATO defense clause, which stipulates that an attack on one member is an attack against all members.
Canada’s House of Commons expressed its support for the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO in a unanimous vote just before the chamber closed for summer break.
Canada enthusiastically supports Finland and Sweden joining NATO.— Mélanie Joly (@melaniejoly) July 5, 2022
This morning, we were the first to formally ratify their accession to the Alliance.
We are stronger together. #WeAreNATO
In a statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that "Canada has full confidence in Finland and Sweden's ability to integrate quickly and effectively into NATO and contribute to the alliance's collective defense.”
Prior to the vote, however, Canadian Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly spoke to the opposition to ensure ratification in Parliament would pass unanimously. The spokesperson said that Canada “wanted to be the first country to ratify."
Helsinki and Stockholm, by virtue of the signing of the protocol, are allowed to participate in NATO meetings and have access to certain intelligence up until ratification.
Previously, at the NATO summit in Madrid, NATO leaders labeled Russia a threat to their security with alliance's chief Jens Stoltenberg saying that NATO will “state clearly that Russia poses a direct threat to our security,” as the alliance seeks to upgrade its defense response, by strengthening its eastern flank, given the ongoing war in Ukraine.
In response to that, Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, considered NATO's decision to declare Russia an enemy escalates tensions, destabilizes security in Europe, and contradicts the NATO-Russia Founding Act.
At a meeting on national security in the Russian Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, Patrushev said that "Russia, which is defending its national interests and sovereignty, has been declared an enemy by the United States and its allies, which is reflected in doctrinal documents, including those adopted at the NATO summit in Madrid."
Patrushev added that "NATO's military infrastructure is approaching our borders, military forces and means are being actively built up on the eastern flank. Decisions have been made on the admission of Finland and Sweden to the alliance. A new military bloc, AUKUS, has been created."
Furthermore, and in response to the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia has no issue with Finland and Sweden that are willing to join NATO, and he stressed that their accession to the alliance posed no threat to his country. However, he underscored, that such action would trigger an appropriate reaction from Moscow.