‘Our almost 30 years of close cooperation, military interoperability with NATO has made that pace possible,’ says Finnish president
Helsinki’s formal integration process to the NATO military alliance has officially been completed, as the sides signed a joint declaration on Monday.
A ceremony marking completion of the military integration process of Finland’s membership took place at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, hosted by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Gen. Philippe Lavigne and Finnish Defense Forces Commander Gen. Timo Kivinen signed the joint declaration marking the conclusion of Finland’s integration into NATO’s military structure.
Speaking at the ceremony Niinisto said that NATO is gaining an ally that takes its obligations and commitments seriously.
“The process has been very fast. Our almost 30 years of close cooperation and military interoperability with NATO has made that pace possible,” he added.
Niinisto also reiterated his wishes to see Sweden as a NATO ally.
“The formal Integration Phase has been successfully completed and the Finnish Defence Forces will now maintain their declared capabilities,” said the signed joint statement on the Finnish Defense Forces website.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership soon after Russia launched its war in Ukraine in February 2022.
Although Türkiye approved Helsinki’s membership, and Finland became NATO’s newest member on April 4, Ankara is waiting for Sweden to abide by a trilateral memorandum signed last June in Madrid to address Ankara’s security concerns.
Sweden passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s bid to join NATO. The new law, effective as of June 1, allows authorities to prosecute individuals who support terrorist groups.