Jun 29, 2022 - World

Finland and Sweden formally invited to join NATO

Swedish, Finnish, and Turkish leaders at NATO summit

Attending a signing ceremony in Madrid on June 28 were (from left) Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. Photo: Turkish Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Finland and Sweden, who have sought to join NATO in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, were formally invited to join the alliance on Wednesday.

Driving the news: The announcement comes just a day after Turkey — which had held up their bids to join — agreed to lift its objection, paving the way for the accession process.

What they're saying: "Today, we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO, and agreed to sign the Accession Protocols," NATO leaders wrote in a summit declaration issued Wednesday.

  • "The accession of Finland and Sweden will make them safer, NATO stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure. The security of Finland and Sweden is of direct importance to the Alliance, including during the accession process," they added.

What they're saying: "Today, NATO leaders took the historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become NATO members," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in remarks Wednesday.

  • "This is a good agreement for [Turkey]. It is a good agreement for Finland and Sweden. And it is a good agreement for NATO," he added.
  • The agreement "demonstrates that President Putin did not succeed in closing NATO's door. NATO's door remains open. And it also demonstrates that we respect the sovereign right of every nation to choose their own path."

Go deeper: Why NATO formed and why Finland and Sweden want to join the alliance

Go deeper