The North Atlantic Treaty signed 74 years ago, aimed to promote peace in the aftermath of the Second World War, and Finland’s membership marks a significant milestone for the Alliance, strengthening its commitment to the principles of freedom and the rule of law.
The UK has played a crucial role in securing agreement from all NATO allies for Finland’s accession, and Foreign Secretary Cleverly will use the meeting to urge Turkey and Hungary to provide a clear path for Sweden’s accession to the Alliance as swiftly as possible. The UK was one of the first NATO Allies to ratify Finland’s and Sweden’s bids to the Alliance, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized the importance of all NATO members taking the necessary steps to admit Sweden so that the Alliance can stand together to defend freedom in Europe and across the world.
In addition to celebrating Finland’s accession, the meeting will also focus on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba invited to attend. The Allies will discuss efforts to accelerate support for Ukraine and ensure it wins against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion.
The UK has committed over £6.5 billion in military, humanitarian, and economic support to Ukraine since the start of the invasion and has pledged £10 million to NATO’s Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine. This will provide non-lethal aid, such as medical equipment, rations, fuel, and counter-drone equipment to support Ukraine’s fight against continued Russian aggression. Additionally, the UK will donate £2 million to NATO’s Tailored Support Packages, helping Georgia, Moldova, and Bosnia & Herzegovina defend themselves against malign Russian activity.
The meeting will also include a session on tackling the challenges posed by China, with NATO’s 4 Asia Pacific Partners – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the Republic of Korea – attending. The UK values the role of Finland and Sweden in the region and applauds their support for Ukraine, given their years of experience in training and operating with Allies and significant contributions to NATO-led operations and missions and the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force.
Foreign Secretary Cleverly will hold talks with Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto to congratulate Finland on its accession to the Alliance, as well as with Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The UK welcomes further Allies to the Alliance and emphasizes the importance of working together to promote peace, freedom, and security around the world.
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