Italy ratifies the NATO membership of Finland and Sweden
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The Italian Parliament gave its final approval on Wednesday to a bill ratifying the accession of Finland and Sweden to the NATO alliance.
The Senate voted 202-13 in favor of the bill, a day after the lower house overwhelmingly approved it.
Membership must be ratified by the parliaments of the 30 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization before Finland and Sweden can be protected by NATO’s defense clause, which states that an attack on a member is an attack against all
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Tuesday’s lower house vote was welcomed by Giorgia Meloni, whose far-right Brothers of Italy party is seen as the front-runner in the national election, which will take place on September 25.
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“In the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine, strengthening the Alliance’s European front is an important step that can act as a deterrent to new Russian threats,” Meloni said in a statement.
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Meloni, leader of the most popular party in the conservative coalition, had supported Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s decision to send weapons to Ukraine, even though he opposed his government.
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However, its two main allies, the League and Forza Italia, have been far more ambivalent, reflecting their historically close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.