RIGA - The Latvian government today supported Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) notes that after Russia started its war against Ukraine, the Finnish and Swedish governments drafted and submitted to parliament a report on changes in the security environment. It concludes that only membership of NATO and the security guarantees set out in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty would provide Finland and Sweden with the necessary protection in the event of a potential military conflict.
Following extensive discussions, the Finnish parliament and the Swedish government decided to apply for NATO membership. Letters of formal application were submitted to the NATO Secretary General on May 18.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that, given Russia's war in Ukraine, its aggressive rhetoric and its potential to escalate the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, it is in Latvia's and allies' interest to accelerate Finland's and Sweden's accession to NATO.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes that the decision to invite Finland and Sweden to start accession negotiations with NATO must be taken at a meeting of the NATO North Atlantic Council. The accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO will take place in accordance with the Protocol on the Accession of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Treaty.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that once NATO member states have agreed to sign the accession protocols, they will be signed by the plenipotentiaries of the NATO member states during a meeting of the NATO North Atlantic Council.
Following the signing of the accession protocols, the ratification process begins, during which NATO members will approve the accession protocol in accordance with national procedures.
Following the completion of the ratification process of the Accession Protocol, the ratification process of the North Atlantic Treaty in Finland and Sweden will be initiated in accordance with their national ratification procedures. Finland and Sweden will become parties to the North Atlantic Treaty after submitting their ratification agreements with the North Atlantic Treaty's depositary - the US Department of State.