Turkey dropped its resistance to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, allowing NATO to strengthen its eastern front with Russia. The agreement reached in Madrid on Tuesday(6/28/22) night, when leaders convened to debate NATO’s future course, all but guaranteed a significant expansion on Russia’s borders. In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would extend an invitation to the two Nordic countries to join the organization while world leaders are still in the Spanish city.

According to Stoltenberg, NATO’s 30 members will subsequently have to approve their acceptance of the invitation. As for the ratification process, he predicted that it would move fast since allies were prepared to expedite it. The decision will fundamentally alter Europe’s defense strategy, ensuring the security of the Baltic States. As part of the summit, the leaders will debate ways to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense, as well as their support for Ukraine.

When Finland and Sweden promised to meet Turkey’s security concerns, including restrictions on Kurdish groups Turkey considers terrorists and avoiding arms embargoes, Turkey decided to support bringing the two Nordic nations into NATO membership. The United States has emphasized the importance of strengthening the alliance by including Finland and Sweden. As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the allies were unable to portray a united front.

There must be unanimous approval from all 30 NATO members before the historically neutral countries can join the alliance. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland have lately stated their determination to join NATO. It was just three years after NATO was founded that Turkey and Greece were added to the alliance’s membership.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO membership for the two formerly neutral countries would represent a major shift in European security. Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Magdalena Andersson, Niinisto, and Stoltenberg earlier today to finalize the agreement.

Finland and Sweden will have to wait a long time before they can take advantage of NATO’s Article 5 collective defense commitments before they join the alliance. According to a senior US official, there were no US concessions made to Turkey in order to get the deal done and Turkey never attached long-standing requests like F-16 fighter fighters to any agreement to allow Sweden and Finland into the alliance.