After the invitation, Finland will start preliminary discussions with all 30 member states.

From left during the signing of the agreement between Turkey, Finland and Sweden in Madrid, Spain, on June 28, 2022: Pekka Haavisto, the minister of foreign affairs of Finland, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the minister of foreign affairs of Turkey, Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkey, President Sauli Niinistö of Finland and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and Ann Linde, the minister of foreign affairs of Sweden.

MADRID—On Wednesday, NATO leaders took a historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of the alliance.

After the invitation, Finland will start preliminary discussions with all 30 member states.

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President Sauli Niinistö said after the invitation on Wednesday that it may be that Finland would be able to sign the Act of Accession to the North Atlantic Treaty latest next Tuesday.

However, there may be a long road ahead to becoming a NATO member.

Different member countries have different ratification procedures and their duration varies from country to country. NATO’s accession process has lasted a year or more for acceding countries in the past.

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Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, said on Wednesday in a press conference that the agreement concluded between Turkey, Finland and Sweden paved the way for the decision to invite both Nordic countries to NATO.

“This is a good agreement for Türkiye. It is a good agreement for Finland and Sweden. And it is a good agreement for NATO,” Stoltenberg said.

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