At the Madrid Summit in June, Allied leaders had agreed to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
President Biden on August 9 signed the United States Instruments of Ratification of the Accession Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty for the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden, which the U.S. Senate had approved on August 3.
“We are pleased with the swift progress toward Finland and Sweden becoming NATO Allies. There is strong Allied and bipartisan support for the membership applications of Finland and Sweden, and we look forward to quickly bringing them into the strongest defensive Alliance in history,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
On July 5, NATO Ambassadors had signed the Accession Protocols for Finland and Sweden at NATO Headquarters, in the presence of Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “This is truly a historic moment. For Finland, for Sweden, for NATO, and for our shared security.”
At the Madrid Summit in June, Allied leaders had agreed to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO following the agreement of a trilateral memorandum between Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden. With the signing of Accession Protocols, the ratification process began.
The Secretary General said that NATO’s door remains open to European democracies who are ready and willing to contribute to shared security: “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.”
Earlier on June 28, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Türkiye, President Sauli Niinistö of Finland, and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden met in Madrid under the auspices of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
In that meeting, the leaders agreed a trilateral memorandum to address Türkiye’s legitimate security concerns, paving the way for Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership.
The memorandum was signed by the foreign ministers of the three countries – Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu of Türkiye, Pekka Haavisto of Finland, and Ann Linde of Sweden – in the presence of all three national leaders, and the Secretary General.
In May, Finland and Sweden had simultaneously handed in their official letters of application to join NATO. Mr Stoltenberg had said in April that NATO would welcome Finland and Sweden “with open arms” if they chose to apply for membership in the Alliance.
Finland and Sweden have decided to join NATO despite Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s warning that Moscow would retaliate if NATO deployed military infrastructure on the territories of Finland or Sweden.
After Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine, Finland and Sweden needed more security to combat a possible Russian onslaught. Once their membership to NATO is confirmed, it will be difficult for Russia to attack them.
Secretary Blinken appreciated the swift action of all Allies who have already ratified the accession protocols and encouraged all to complete the process soon so that Finland and Sweden can accede to the North Atlantic Treaty and join the NATO Alliance.
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