12 August 2022,   12:25
NATO Allies sign Accession Protocols for Finland and Sweden

NATO members signed the accession protocols for Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance. Both countries submitted their applications in May, breaking longstanding non-aligned stances in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“This is an historic day. For Finland. For Sweden. For NATO. And for Euro-Atlantic security. 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. 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. And I want to thank Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden for their constructive approach. The trilateral agreement they signed at the Madrid Summit made today possible.

I know all three parties are working hard on the implementation and robust follow-through, especially in the fight against terrorism. I now count on all Allies to ensure the speedy ratification of the Accession, according to their national procedures.

The security of Finland and Sweden is important for our Alliance, including during the ratification process. 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. From now on, Finland and Sweden will have the status as “invitees”, and will participate in our discussions.

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 NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.