By 195 votes to 11, Bulgaria’s Parliament ratified on July 13 the second reading of the Nato accession protocols of Sweden and Finland, soon after ratifying the first reading at the same sitting.
Finland and Sweden decided to go over from neutral status, applying on May 18 this year for membership of the defensive alliance after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
Nato ambassadors signed the accession protocols for Finland and Sweden at Nato Headquarters on July 5, opening the way for the protocols to go to all Nato countries for ratification.
In debate, former foreign minister Ekaterina Zaharieva, of GERB-UDF, said that Bulgaria’s Parliament was one of the first to vote on the ratification.
“If there is something slightly positive, although one cannot speak of positivism in a war, it is that instead of weakening Nato and the democratic world, Putin is actually strengthening Nato ,” she said.
Blagovest Belev of We Continue the Change said that Sweden and Finland would contribute to the security of Europe with their economic strength, technological capabilities and human potential.
Atanas Slavov of Democratic Bulgaria said that the ratification by Parliament would be historic. ” This is a strategic change in what European security looks like as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” he said.
The sole parliamentary group to oppose the ratification was pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane, the smallest group in the National Assembly, which also repeated its call for a referendum on Bulgaria leaving Nato.
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