Speech by President of Finland Sauli Niinistö at a Joint Session at Washington State Capitol (06/03/2023)

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    Europe needs the United States. But the United States also needs Europe. Together we have built and upheld the post World War II international institutions and order. From the United Nations to Bretton Woods. And together we will continue to uphold and revitalize this order, also after this war.

    [See the full post at: Speech by President of Finland Sauli Niinistö at a Joint Session at Washington State Capitol (06/03/2023)]


    President Niinistö’s statement in the White House following the discussions with the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Sweden on 19 May 2022


    Mr. President, it is a great pleasure and honour to be standing here today together with you, together with the Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. We are here for a very good reason. Together we are taking a historic step by seeking to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

    Finland has made its decision after a rapid but a very thorough process. The process has once again revealed the strength of Finnish democracy. Starting from the strong public support, the decision was made with an overwhelming parliamentary majority and it also enjoys huge, strong popular support.

    I want to thank you, Mr. President, for your steadfast support throughout this process. In early March, I visited the White House and you encouraged us to go further. That was of vital importance in the process.

    Your statement yesterday and our trilateral meeting today are testimony to the enduring commitment the United States has made to European and transatlantic security.

    I want to assure you that Finland will become a strong NATO ally. We take our security very seriously. The Finnish armed forces are one of the strongest in Europe. We have also consistently invested in developing our capabilities. The Finns’ willingness to defend their country is one of the highest in the whole world. We are ready to contribute to the security of the whole Alliance: making the commitment to mutual security guarantees that being a NATO ally entails.

    Now that we have taken this first decisive step, it is time for NATO allies to weigh in. We hope for strong support from all allies, and for a swift ratification of our membership once it is agreed. I believe that the United States can set a crucially important example to others.

    The Turkish leadership has recently expressed concerns about our membership application. I want to address these concerns today. Finland has always had broad and good bilateral relations to Turkey. As NATO allies, we will commit to Turkey’s security just as Turkey will commit to our security. We take terrorism seriously, we condemn terrorism in all its forms, and we are actively engaged in combatting it. We are open to discussing all the concerns Turkey may have concerning our membership in an open and constructive manner. These discussions have already taken place, and they will continue in the next days.

    On the 24th of February, I said that the masks have fallen and we see only the cold faces of war. Russia’s war in Ukraine has changed Europe and our security environment. Finland takes the step of NATO membership in order to strengthen not only its own security, but also in order to strengthen wider transatlantic security. This is not away from anybody. Like you, Mr. President said, NATO is protective, defensive, not a threat to anybody. At the same time, we must not forget that at this very moment the brave people of Ukraine are fighting not only for their own freedom and democracy but for our common security. Finland, together with the EU and the United States stands firmly behind Ukraine.

    So Mr. President, once again, I want to thank you for making history with us.


    President and Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discuss Russia’s war of aggression and progress of Finland’s NATO membership process

    Government Communications Department
    Press release

    In their meeting on Thursday 23 February, the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and the security situation in Europe.

    Friday 24 February marks the one-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine that is in blatant breach of international law and the UN Charter. From the very beginning, Finland has strongly condemned Russia’s illegal war of aggression. Russia must cease military action immediately and withdraw its armed forces from Ukrainian territory. Finland’s support to Ukraine and the country’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity is unwavering.

    The President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy also discussed the progress of Finland’s NATO membership process.

    Inquiries: Piritta Asunmaa, Director General, tel. +358 295 350 353, Sirpa Oksanen, Director of Unit for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, tel. +358 295 350 472, Ministry for Foreign Affairs


    Finland President Niinisto to speak about security in Europe at the Munich Security Conference (16/02/2023)

    Office of the President of the Republic of Finland
    Press release 6/2023
    16 February 2023

    President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö will attend the international Munich Security Conference in Germany on 17–18 February 2023.

    President Niinistö will participate in a panel discussion on NATO, security and partnerships in Europe on the main stage of the conference on Saturday 18 February together with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President of Moldova Maia Sandu and Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen.

    On Saturday evening, President Niinistö will deliver the acceptance speech at the Ewald von Kleist Award ceremony. This year, the Munich Security Conference has awarded the prestigious prize to Finland and Sweden for their historic decision to apply for NATO membership. Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson and former Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson will also attend the event.

    During the conference, President Niinistö’s programme also includes a number of important bilateral meetings.

    Organised since 1963, the Munich Security Conference is a discussion forum that seeks to promote conflict resolution, international cooperation and dialogue. The conference brings together foreign and security policy decision-makers from around the world, including some 45 heads of state and government and nearly 100 ministers.

    Munich Security Conference (MSC): https://securityconference.org/en

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