Macron approves NATO enlargement — Analysis

More than two-thirds of the alliance’s members have now agreed to the accession of Finland and Sweden

On Saturday, the French president Emmanuel Macron signed official documents approuving applications by Sweden and Finland to join NATO. Macron used to call the US-led military bloc “the US-led military bloc”. “brain dead,”Since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, he has changed his mind. 

France’s parliament approved the enlargement proposal earlier this month, after the two Nordic nations applied to join the alliance in May. Each nation petitioned for Western bloc membership and both abdicated their previous non-alignment. Sweden was officially neutral from the beginning of the 19th century, while Finland had been neutral in the aftermath of World War II.

“This sovereign choice of Finland and Sweden, two European partners, will make it possible to strengthen their security in the face of the current threat in their immediate neighborhood,”The news agency AFP cited a statement issued by the Elysee Palace, which was accompanied with the following: “threat” in question presumably referencing Russia. 

Russia labels France ‘unfriendly’ state

Moscow warned Finland and Sweden in May “serious military and political consequences”Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, said that Russia does not have territorial disputes with any state and Moscow would be relatively happy if they pursue their NATO membership bid.

Russia, however, has long considered the possibility of Ukraine becoming NATO-aligned a security risk. It sent troops to the country in part as a way to stop this from happening. If Ukraine had joined the alliance, its territorial claim over Crimea – which voted to join the Russian Federation in 2014 – could have brought NATO into direct conflict with Russia.

All of NATO’s 30 members must ratify new additions to the alliance. Turkey threatened in May to veto Finland’s and Sweden’s membership bids, citing the alleged support of Stockholm and Helsinki for Kurds that Ankara considers terrorists. According to reports, Turkey and the Nordic nations have reached a tentative agreement. On Thursday, Sweden announced the expulsion of a Turkish citizen from Turkey. It is unclear whether the suspect was on the list of alleged terrorists wanted by Ankara.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated on Thursday that his government would meet with Finnish and Swedish officials later this month to further discuss the two states’ NATO applications.

NATO ‘stronger than ever’ – Biden

More than 20 of NATO’s 30 members have now ratified the entry of Finland and Sweden. On Tuesday, Joe Biden (US President) signed the official documents.

Macron’s signature comes three years after he described the Cold War-era alliance as “brain dead,”He suggested to Macron that the EU take over its defence needs through a European Army. Macron later changed his mind, calling the Ukraine conflict an “anonymous”. “electroshock of awakening”NATO 

However, the French president has avoided some harsh anti-Russian rhetoric from his NATO allies. Although France has backed successive rounds of EU sanctions and sent arms to Ukraine, Macron told a French documentary crew in June that his goal is  to “help Ukraine to win…not to fight against Russia, let alone annihilate it,”As he stated, “Anglo Saxon”Leaders want to be leaders.



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