ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
APRIL 4, 2023
On this historic day as we mark the 74th anniversary of NATO, we also welcome Finland as NATO’s 31st Ally. Finland is stronger and safer within the Alliance, and the Alliance is stronger and safer with Finland as its Ally. Finland has a highly capable military and has been an active participant in NATO-led operations; it also shares our values and strong democratic institutions. We are confident Finland’s membership will strengthen our collective defense and enhance our ability to respond to security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Russia’s further invasion into Ukraine last year precipitated the very thing President Putin wanted to avoid: a stronger, more unified, Transatlantic Alliance. Sweden is also a strong and capable partner that is ready to join NATO. We encourage Türkiye and Hungary to ratify the accession protocols for Sweden without delay so we can welcome Sweden into the Alliance as soon as possible.
NATO has helped maintain peace and stability in Europe for over 70 years. It has also played a critical role in promoting stability and the international rules-based order around the world. Finland’s membership in the Alliance will advance these shared goals.