The Albanian government is in favour of Sweden and Finland joining NATO, according to the latest decision of the Council of Ministers on Thursday.
Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009. It has aligned itself with the position of the EU in regards to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has pledged assistance through NATO.
“We formally agreed on the expansion of the Alliance and the inclusion of these two countries,” Foreign Minister Olta Xhaçka said during a press conference.
Xhaçka explained that the decision will now be transferred to the Albanian parliament, which will have the final say on whether to ratify it.
“These protocols will then be forwarded to [the Albanian] parliament for its ratification. Once the parliaments of all 30 NATO member states, as well as the parliaments of Finland and Sweden, have also ratified this procedure, it will then be possible to accept them de jure in The North Atlantic Treaty,” Xhaçka added.
Finland and Sweden recently applied to join the Alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey continues to stand in the way as unanimous approval of all 30 member states is required.
Delegations from the three countries met in Ankara on Wednesday (26 May). Following the meeting, a senior Turkish official declared that Turkey would vote against their application unless its concerns were addressed with concrete action, cites The Associated Press.
Turkey alleges that Sweden and Finland have lent their support to groups that threaten the security of Turkey, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has rejected Turkey’s allegations, stating that Sweden does not provide weapons or support to terrorists.
Albania has an increasingly close relationship with Turkey and has been warned to support Ankara on matters involving “terrorists”, but this has not so far impacted their decision regarding NATO.