“We […] warmly welcomes the historic decision of Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership “, wrote Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjanis Karinš and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonyte in a joint statement published on Wednesday.
“We will do our utmost to ensure that this accession process goes quickly and smoothly,” they said, adding that they look forward to working with Finland and Sweden.
Ministers pointed out that the Baltics and the Nordic countries share the same threats and challenges and will work together to achieve their goals.
Finland and Sweden share the same values as NATO allies and a commitment to Euro-Atlantic security, they said, joining the country will “strengthen our collective security and strengthen the alliance”.
“In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO’s role as a defensive alliance striving for peace, security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic has become even more important,” he said.
The chairmen of each country’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee also welcomed the news.
“Our parliaments are ready to be among the first to approve the accession protocols of Finland and Sweden as soon as the North Atlantic Council has approved these protocols,” Marko Mihkelson, Rihards Kols and Laima Andrikiene wrote in a joint statement.
The entire Prime Minister’s statement can be read below.
We, the Prime Ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, fully support and warmly welcome the historic decisions of Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership.
Finland and Sweden share the same values that bind NATO allies together and share our commitment to the principles that underpin Euro-Atlantic security. Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO will strengthen our collective security and strengthen the alliance.
The Baltic States, together with Finland and Sweden, share responsibility for a peaceful, secure and prosperous Nordic-Baltic region. Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO will contribute to achieving these goals and open up new opportunities for our countries for closer and stronger cooperation in the field of security and defense.
Our security interests are the same and we share similar security threats and challenges. Therefore, the Baltic States will address these threats and challenges in close cooperation and solidarity with Finland and Sweden, both as NATO allies and during the time of Finland and Sweden’s accession to the NATO process. We will do our utmost to make this connection process quick and smooth.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO’s role as a defensive alliance striving for peace, security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic has become even more important. We look forward to working with Finland and Sweden within the alliance to achieve these goals.