Finland joins Nato as Rishi Sunak celebrates alliance ‘to defend freedom in Europe’

Finland joins Nato as Rishi Sunak celebrates alliance ‘to defend freedom in Europe’
George McMillan

By George McMillan

Published: 04/04/2023

- 19:41

Finland's foreign affairs minister Pekka Haavisto handed over documents to the Nato secretary-general and US secretary of state to confirm the country's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty

Rishi Sunak has welcomed Finland into Nato, saying it shows the strength of Europe and its determination to defend freedom.

Finland joined as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has lasted over a year.

Reacting to the news, the UK Prime Minister said: “This is an historic day for Finland and for Nato. Their accession has made our alliance stronger and every one of us safer.

“All Nato members now need to take the steps necessary to admit Sweden too, so we can stand together as one alliance to defend freedom in Europe and across the world.”

Finland and Sweden had previously remained neutral parties but since the war in Ukraine began have both applied to become members of Nato.

James Cleverly said: “Today we see, as a direct result of Vladimir Putin’s aggression and his illegal invasion of Ukraine, the day where a new ally joins our defensive alliance.

“Russia thought its aggression would divide us. Instead, we are bound tighter together, resolute in our defence of the principles of freedom and the rule of law.

“Let us be clear that our door remains open.

“We will welcome further Allies with open arms and we continue to push for Sweden’s swift accession.”

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