Finland's accession to NATO will strengthen regional security - Rinkevics

  • 2023-03-31
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Finland's accession to NATO will strengthen regional security, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) is confident.

Reacting to the ratification of the Turkish parliament to Finland's NATO membership, Rinkevics emphasized on Twitter that all NATO members have ratified Finland's accession to the alliance. "Latvia warmly welcomes our Finnish friends and allies in the alliance!" said the minister.

Rinkevics expressed confidence that Finland, as a member of NATO, will strengthen the alliance and regional security. The minister also emphasized that he hopes for Sweden's accession to NATO as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) emphasizes that with Finland's accession to NATO, the alliance will become even stronger. "The conclusion of the ratification process of Finland's accession to NATO is a much-awaited step for an even higher level of security and defense in the North Atlantic region," the Prime Minister says.

The AFP news agency reports that Turkey on Thursday became the final NATO nation to ratify Finland's membership of the US-led defence alliance in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Lawmakers unanimously backed the Nordic country's accession two weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly blessed the bid.

"I welcome the vote of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to complete the ratification of Finland's accession," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg tweeted moments after the vote. "This will make the whole NATO family stronger and safer."

Turkey's approval leaves Finland -- which has a 1,300-kilometre (800-mile) border with Russia -- with only a few technical steps before it becomes the 31st member of the world's most powerful military bloc.

Officials expect the process to be completed as early as next week.