At the second sitting of the extraordinary session today, the Riigikogu passed the Act that approves the protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of Finland and Sweden.
79 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of passing the Act.
During the debate, Marko Mihkelson from the Reform Party Faction, Jaak Aab from the Centre Party Faction, Jaak Juske from the Social Democratic Party Faction, Urmas Reinsalu from Faction Isamaa and Leo Kunnas from the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction took the floor. Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt, acting as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, also made a speech.
The Act on Approval of Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden (643 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, approves the protocols that regulate Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty. The permanent representatives of NATO member states signed the accession protocols in Brussels yesterday. After signing, NATO member states have to approve the protocols according to their national legislation. Besides Estonia, Iceland, Canada, Norway and Denmark have approved the protocols by now.
Upon the entry into force of the protocols, NATO Secretary General will communicate to Finland and Sweden a formal accession invitation. During the accession negotiations and ratification process, Finland and Sweden have a special status of an observer, which means a position similar to that of the allies, but without the right to vote. For the period between the accession invitation and accession, both countries have received defence guarantees from the US, the UK, France, Germany and the Nordic Countries that cover joint defence activities, including exercises.
According to the explanatory memorandum, Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO will enhance security in the North Atlantic region and contribute to a united, free, democratic and peaceful Europe. It will also significantly strengthen the security situation of Estonia and the whole Baltic Sea region.
The sitting ended at 4.10 p.m.
Photos of the sitting (Erik Peinar, Chancellery of the Riigikogu)
The video recording of the sitting can be viewed on the Riigikogu YouTube channel. (Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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