Lithuanian parlt is one step away from ratifying Sweden, Finland's NATO membership

  • 2022-07-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Seimas of Lithuania is only one step away from ratifying Sweden and Finland's NATO membership as lawmakers on Tuesdays have the related bills their initial backing.

115 Lithuanian MPs voted in favor of Sweden's membership and one was against, while 120 MPs voted in favor of Finland's membership.

The final ratification vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

"There's no need to explain in our midst that Sweden and Finland's membership is an event of particular importance for NATO as a whole, an event of particular importance for the Baltic region as a whole, with the Baltic Sea becoming NATO's inner sea," said Laima Liucija Andrikiene, chair of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The Lithuanian parliament called an extraordinary session in mid-July to vote on Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO as soon as possible.

The accession protocols will enter into force once all NATO member states have notified the US administration their approval.

Once this happens, the NATO secretary general will send formal invitations to join the organization to the governments of Finland and Sweden on behalf of all NATO members.

Finland and Sweden expressed their willingness to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.