An historic day for Finland, Sweden and NATO

NATO Allies sign Accession Protocols

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NATO Ambassadors signed the Accession Protocols for Finland and Sweden at NATO Headquarters on Tuesday, 5 July 2022, in the presence of Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde. Last week at the Madrid Summit, Allied leaders agreed to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO following the agreement of a trilateral memorandum between Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden. Today, the Accession Protocols were signed, marking the start of the ratification process.

“This is truly an historic moment. For Finland, for Sweden, for NATO, and for our shared security,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “Finland and Sweden will make strong and important contributions to our Alliance. Our forces are interoperable. They have trained, exercised, and served together for many years. We share the same values. And we face the same challenges, in the Baltic Sea, and beyond,” stressed Mr. Stoltenberg.

Pekka Haavisto: “Finland will contribute in making NATO even stronger – both politically and militarily.”

“The Madrid Summit made a historical decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of the Alliance. Yesterday the accession talks were held between NATO and Finland. Today, I am pleased to see the signing of the accession protocol by all NATO allies,” stated Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Over the past 30 years, Finland and NATO have had a long-standing and pragmatic partnership. Finland joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme already in 1994.

“We have worked together towards a secure Europe. We have done this in close partnership and with a common commitment to enhancing Euro-Atlantic security. Cooperation has brought us closer together and ensured high interoperability,” he continued.

“Finland’s strong defence capability, civil preparedness and resilience will contribute to the strength of the Alliance. Finland has a long tradition of comprehensive approach to security, bringing together various sectors of society, also private sector, to collaborate in maintaining crisis preparedness and resilience. This makes our society resilient,” said Minister Pekka Haavisto.

Ann Linde: “Sweden will contribute to the security of all Allies”

“Just took part in historic NAC meeting where 🇸🇪 and 🇫🇮 accession protocols were signed by all NATO allies. Thank you for your support! Now the process of ratification by each of the Allies begins. Look forward to working together in ensuring our collective security. #WeAreNATO”, wrote on her Twitter account Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister said that the Swedish Government decided to apply for NATO membership against the backdrop of the deteriorated security situation in the Euro-Atlantic area following Russia’s unprovoked, illegal, and unjustifiable war against its neighbour – the peaceful, democratic, and military non-aligned state of Ukraine.

“As a future member of the Alliance, Sweden will contribute to the security of all Allies. We are convinced that our membership will strengthen NATO and add to the stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. We will do our part in contributing to NATO´s collective defense shoulder to shoulder with the other Allies. This Swedish Government’s decision has overwhelming political and public support in Sweden, and we believe that joining NATO is the best way for Sweden to ensure our national security and keep the Swedish people safe,” stated the Minister.

“Let me reiterate our deep gratitude for the efforts of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and his able team in paving the way for the agreement in Madrid on our accession to NATO, and today’s signing of the protocols. We have worked hard and tirelessly to address the issues that had been raised and I look forward to continuing our close cooperation with you on the route to membership,” she added.

Speedy ratification processes

“Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe. So it is important we all stand together at this dangerous moment in our history. I commend all Allies for moving so quickly in accepting Finland and Sweden’s applications for membership,” stressed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“The security of Finland and Sweden is important for our Alliance, including during the ratification process,” added Mr. Stoltenberg.

From now on, Finland and Sweden will have the status as “invitees”, and will participate in NATO discussions.

Many Allies have already made clear commitments to Finland and Sweden’s security. “And NATO has increased our presence in the region, including with more exercises,” said NATO Secretary General.

NATO’ Open Door policy

The Secretary General said that NATO’s door remains open to European democracies who are ready and willing to contribute to shared security.

“Today, we have shown once again that NATO’s Door is open. The enlargement of NATO over several decades has been a great success. Reinforcing peace, stability, and democracy, across Europe. It was the free and independent choice of Finland and Sweden to join NATO. And it is the fundamental right of all nations to choose their own path,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.

“I look forward to seeing two more flags flying high at NATO,” he added.

“With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger and our people will be even safer, as we face the biggest security crisis in decades.”

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