Stoltenberg Says Sweden And Finland’s Membership Will Make NATO Stronger


Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson to NATO Headquarters on Thursday (20 October 2022) for discussions on Sweden and Finland’s applications to join the Alliance. 

“Joining the Alliance will make you safer, NATO stronger and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure,” said the Secretary General.

Stoltenberg noted that the accession process for Sweden and Finland has been the fastest in NATO’s modern history and nearly all Allies have completed their national procedures. He underlined that many Allies have given security assurances to both countries and NATO has increased its presence in the Baltic Sea.

“It is inconceivable that Allies would not act, should Sweden and Finland come under any form of pressure,” Stoltenberg said.

According to Stoltenberg, the membership of the two countries “will strengthen the Alliance’s presence in the High North.  And deepen Nordic and Baltic defence cooperation.”

With regard to the Trilateral Memorandum signed by Türkey, Sweden and Finland in Madrid, Stoltenberg said NATO members must ensure that the agreement is implemented.

“I welcome the efforts that Sweden has already made to implement the agreement, not only by stating clearly that they are ready to step up cooperation regarding the fight against terrorism, but actually also strengthening the Swedish legislation including by the prohibition of membership in terrorist organisations, including PKK; lifting restrictions on arms exports; and also establishing the permanent mechanism, which is a platform to exchange more information and also to do more when it comes to intelligence and also in sharing the intelligence between the countries involved,” Stoltenberg said.

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