Türkiye has agreed to support the applications of Sweden and Finland for membership of NATO, setting the stage for a historic NATO Summit in Madrid. The new Strategic Concept, support to Ukraine, and the applications from Sweden and Finland will be the main focus when NATO heads of state and government convene for the Madrid Summit on 28–30 June.
On the evening prior to the Summit, Türkiye, Sweden and Finland reached an agreement that makes it possible for the two Nordic countries to join NATO.
‘This is an important day for NATO and for the Nordic region. Finnish and Swedish membership of NATO will increase the stability and security of the Nordic region and usher in a new era in Nordic defence cooperation. The addition of Sweden and Finland will make NATO stronger,’ said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
The Prime Minister is participating in the Summit, together with Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt and Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.
The Summit is taking place against the grim backdrop of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will participate digitally at the beginning of the Summit.
‘Ukraine is fighting for its independence and its democracy. We fully support Ukraine in its struggle to defend these values, which are core values for Norway as well. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had a major impact on the European security policy landscape, and this clearly has implications for NATO,’ said Mr Støre.
The NATO member countries will be discussing issues that have important, long-term consequences for Norwegian and Allied security. NATO’s new Strategic Concept strengthens the Alliance’s collective defence and focuses greater attention on the Alliance’s neighbourhood.
‘Norway welcomes the new Strategic Concept. NATO must maintain a credible defence and deterrence capability. The steps now being taken to enhance the Allied presence on NATO’s eastern flank are vital in this context. At the same time, it is important to keep essential channels of communication with Russia open to avoid misunderstandings and escalation,’ said Mr Støre.
The Strategic Concept is a key steering document for NATO. It provides a roadmap setting out the Alliance’s priorities and objectives for the next 5–10 years. The last Strategic Concept was adopted in 2010.
‘It is important that NATO adapts it approach to address new security challenges. NATO is increasing its focus on new and ground-breaking technologies, cybersecurity, space-based defence capabilities, and the security implications of climate change. This is essential, and the right thing to do, in order to build a forward-looking Alliance,’ said Mr Støre.