Following the formal entry of Finland as the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on April 4, Helsinki Commission Chairman Representative Joe Wilson (SC-2), Co-Chairman Senator Ben Cardin (MD), Ranking Member Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Ranking Member Senator Roger Wicker (MS) issued the following joint statement:
“We are pleased to welcome Finland to the Atlantic Alliance as an immediate contributor to the security of our entire region. Finland has long played a positive role in global peace and stability; its full membership in NATO further strengthens the Alliance’s ability to defend against aggression and project stability at a time when European security is under direct attack by Russia.
“We also look forward to the rapid completion of ongoing processes which will result in Sweden’s NATO membership and appeal to the governments of Turkey and Hungary to expedite their endorsements of Sweden’s application.”
In response to Russian aggression against Ukraine and the region, in the spring of 2022 Finland and Sweden reversed long-held foreign policy choices to move decisively towards NATO membership. Finland’s accession process has culminated in membership, with the assent of all Allies; Sweden’s application remains subject to objections from two NATO member States.