"Yesterday I had a bilateral meeting with my Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan, in which he told me that he expects the protocol to be ratified within a few weeks," Billström said in press statements before the NATO foreign ministers' meeting. It is working hard to ratify Sweden's application to join the alliance, which could happen before the end of the year.The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Parliament decided earlier to postpone discussion of the draft law approving the protocol to Sweden's accession to NATO.In May 2022, Finland and Sweden submitted applications to join NATO, against the backdrop of the events in Ukraine. Finland became the thirty-first member of the Alliance on 4 April. Sweden, as a member of the European Union, agreed in negotiations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to help intensify Turkey's EU accession process in exchange for ratification of its NATO application.Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the issues of Sweden's accession to NATO and Turkey's accession to the European Union "are not linked." His optimism that Sweden will join the alliance this autumn.