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NATO allies sign the accession protocol for Finland and Sweden

NATO allies sign the accession protocol for Finland and Sweden

NATO's 30 allies today signed an accession protocol for Finland and Sweden to allow them to join the alliance once allied parliaments ratify the decision.

The move, which is the alliance's most significant expansion since the mid-1990s, means Helsinki and Stockholm can participate in NATO meetings and have greater access to intelligence.

However, they will not be protected by NATO's safeguard clause that an attack on one ally is an attack on all until ratification, which is likely to take up to a year.

"This is truly a historic moment", said the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, together with the foreign ministers of both countries.

"With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger."

In a statement, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said: "Thank you for your support! The process of ratification by each of the Allies now begins. I look forward to working together to ensure our collective security."

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