March 20, 2023

NATO Secretary General meets the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Defence of Finland

On Monday, 20 March 2023, the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, will receive Finland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Pekka Haavisto, and Defence Minister, Antti Kaikkonen, at NATO Headquarters.

March 17, 2023

Statement by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership

I welcome today’s decision by Türkiye to move ahead with the ratification of Finland’s membership in NATO. This will strengthen Finland’s security, it will strengthen Sweden’s security….I hope that the Turkish Grand National Assembly will vote to ratify as soon as possible.

At the NATO Summit in Madrid last June, all Allies made the historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to join our Alliance. Since then, we have seen the fastest ratification process in NATO’s modern history.


I recently visited Türkiye and met with President Erdoğan. The President and I agreed to convene a meeting of Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden at NATO Headquarters. At that meeting last week, all recognised that considerable progress has been made in implementing the trilateral memorandum signed in Madrid….

The most important thing is that both Finland and Sweden become full members of NATO quickly, not whether they join at exactly the same time.

….Both countries have received bilateral security assurances from many NATO countries, including the US, UK, Germany, and France. So it is inconceivable that NATO would not respond should either Finland or Sweden come under attack.