Nato allies: Finland to join alliance ‘without delay’ – statement in full

Finland announced its intention to become a member of NATO in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine this morning. The previously militarily neutral country has said it “must apply for NATO membership without delay”.

The statement in full reads: “During this spring, an important discussion on Finland’s possible NATO membership has taken place. Time has been needed to let Parliament and the whole society establish their stands on the matter. Time has been needed for close international contacts with NATO and its member countries, as well as with Sweden. We have wanted to give the discussion the space it required.

“Now that the moment of decision-making is near, we state our equal views, also for information to the parliamentary groups and parties. NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance. Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”