NATO has officially launched the ratification process for Finland and Sweden to join the military alliance.
Ambassadors for 30 NATO allies signed accession protocols for the two Nordic countries on Tuesday, July 5, paving the way for ratification by the governments of each member state.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference it was the “fastest succession process in NATO history.”
“Today we are shown once again that NATO’s door is open,” he said. “Welcoming Finland and Sweden into the alliance will make them safer, NATO stronger, and all of us more secure.” Credit: NATO via Storyful
JENS STOLTENBERG: --so procedures. The security of Finland and Sweden is important for our alliance, including during the ratification process. Many allies have already made clear commitments to Finland and Sweden's security.
And NATO has increased our presence in the region, including with more exercises. From now on, Finland and Sweden will have the status as invitees and will participate in our discussions.
Today, we have shown once again that NATO's door is open. The enlargement of NATO over several decades has been a great success, reinforcing peace, stability, and democracy across Europe.
It was the free and independent choice of Finland and Sweden to join NATO. And it is the fundamental right of all nations to choose their own path. Welcoming Finland and Sweden into the alliance will make them safer, NATO stronger, and all of us more secured. I look forward to seeing two more flags flying high at NATO.