Latvia congratulates Sweden and Finland on applications to join NATO

Latvian officials were quick Wednesday to congratulate Sweden and Finland on officially submitting applications to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

President Levits welcomed the news. Speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister, he offered congratulations and said he expected speedy ratification of the membership applications from Latvia's parliament the Saeima. 

"It means a strengthening of NATO and especially in our northern European region. We congratulate them and we were also discussing that Latvia's Saeima will confirm this ratification of expanding NATO very quickly. We congratulate Finland and Sweden on this decision. It is in all of Europe's interest and of course in these countries' interest," said President Levits. 

Prime Minister Kariņš offered similar sentiments saying that as soon as official documents were received they would be passed through first the cabinet and then Saeima.

"We're certain Saeima will not delay and will very quickly finish the full ratification process from the Latvian  side," Kariņš said.

 

 

Soon afterwards, a joint statement of all three Baltic Prime Ministers was released. It said:

We, the Prime Ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, fully endorse and warmly welcome the historic decisions by Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership. 

Finland and Sweden share the same values that bind the NATO Allies together, and share our commitment to the principles that constitute the foundation of Euro-Atlantic security. The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will enhance our collective security and strengthen the Alliance. 

The Baltic States together with Finland and Sweden share the responsibility for peaceful, secure, and prosperous Nordic Baltic region. The accession of Finland and Sweden into NATO will help to achieve these goals and open new opportunities for our countries for closer and stronger cooperation in the fields of security and defence.

Our security interests are the same, and we share similar security threats and challenges. Therefore, the Baltic States will address these threats and challenges in close cooperation and solidarity with Finland and Sweden, both as NATO Allies, and during the time of Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO process. We will do our utmost to ensure that this accession process will go swiftly and smoothly.

In the wake  of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the NATO’s role as a defensive Alliance that strives for peace, security, and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic has become even more important. We are looking forward to working together with Finland and Sweden within the Alliance to achieve these goals. 

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