This step opens up the ratification process, during which all the legislative assemblies of the 30 NATO member states will need to approve the accession of the two Nordic countries.
Finland and Sweden signed the official accession protocol to join NATO at a Council meeting held at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg led the event and said it was a “historic” moment for the alliance.
“This is a good day for Finland and Sweden and a good day for NATO. With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger and our people will be even more secure as we face the biggest security crisis in decades,” Stoltenberg said in its press conference. address.
Stoltenberg recalled the process of Finland and Sweden until last week’s NATO summit in Madrid, when Turkey raised its security concerns and culminated in a trilateral agreement signed by Finland, Sweden and Turkey. This gave the members unanimity to invite Finland and Sweden to the alliance.
“This marks the start of the ratification process. NATO’s door is still open for European democracies that are ready and willing to contribute to our common security,” Stoltenberg explained.
Now that Finland and Sweden have been officially invited, the next step will be the ratification process, where each member state’s legislative assembly will decide whether to approve the accession of the Nordic countries.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland Pekka Haavisto (Green) also spoke to the Nature Council.
“We appreciate the Alliance’s support for membership in Finland and look forward to a speedy ratification process,” Haavisto told the assembly.
He added that joining the alliance will not only be beneficial for Finland, but also a blessing for the alliance.
“Finland’s strong defense capability, civil preparedness and resilience will contribute to the alliance,” Haavisto said.
He concluded his remarks by pointing to NATO’s main objectives and global approach.
“We look forward to safeguarding a secure and prosperous Euro-Atlantic region with our NATO allies. Together, we are stronger in defending the rule-based international order and the principles of democracy, freedom and the rule of law,” Haavisto concluded.