Date of Turkey ratification of Sweden NATO bid unspecified: Source
The possibility of the Turkish Assembly ratifying Sweden's NATO membership bid by the end of the year is still on the table, but no clear date remains known.
A Turkish parliamentary source confirmed the possibility of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey's ratification of Sweden's NATO membership bid by the end of the year. However, no clear or specific dates remain known yet.
"This is a possibility, but no dates have been set for the vote. The issue is still on the agenda of the [parliament's] foreign affairs commission. Discussions are underway there, and then the issue will be submitted to the Grand Assembly for discussion. That is, we do not have specific dates yet," the source told Sputnik.
Last week, Reuters reported that Turkey told NATO that confirmation of Sweden's membership application will not be completed in time for the country's accession ceremony at a meeting of alliance foreign ministers.
Authorization for the bill must be presented by the Turkish Foreign Affairs Commission before being presented to a vote in the Turkish parliament, which might happen days or weeks later. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would then sign it into law, bringing the lengthy process to an end.
Sweden submitted its NATO application in May 2022 with Finland, just several months after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine.
Finland successfully joined in April 2023, while Sweden's application is still awaiting ratification by Turkey and Hungary.
Back in October, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addressed the country's parliament, asserting that ratifying Sweden's NATO bid was not an "urgent" matter. Orban accused Sweden of challenging Hungary's "democratic nature" in his remarks.
Hungary has yet to vote in favor of Sweden's accession to NATO, aligning itself with Turkey, which had previously blocked Sweden's membership but lifted its veto in July.
Turkey and Hungary hindered Sweden's bid, with Budapest citing grievances over Stockholm's criticism of Hungary's Prime Minister and Ankara accusing Sweden of harboring what it considers Kurdish terrorists and meddling in Turkish elections.
Another issue of contention was the Biden administration's connection of the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey with Ankara's approval of Stockholm's NATO membership bid, to which Erdogan said that this "seriously upsets" his country.