Secretary General: NATO, Finland and Sweden share the same security interests
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Finland with ambassadors of the North Atlantic Council on Monday (25 October 2021), underlining the close partnership between NATO and Finland. Addressing media after his meeting with President Sauli Niinistö, Mr Stoltenberg said that NATO and Finland cooperate closely on security in the Baltic Sea region and in the High North. “Together, we make the Euro-Atlantic region more secure and more stable, including through NATO's enhanced forward presence in the Baltic region, our air policing mission, and of course, Finland’s commitment to its national defence”, he said.
In Helsinki, the Secretary General is also meeting Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto for talks on strengthening NATO’s partnership with Finland. He will also visit the Guard Jaeger Regiment alongside Defence Minister Antii Kaikkonen and the Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, General Timo Kivinen.
In Stockholm later on Tuesday, the Secretary General will be received by H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf. He also will meet Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to discuss Sweden’s contributions to international security and its long-standing partnership with NATO. He will also meet with Foreign Minister Ann Linde, Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, and Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg, and visit HMS Carlskrona – the largest vessel in the Swedish Navy.
NATO has deepened its cooperation with Sweden and Finland in recent years. At the NATO Summit in June, Allied leaders welcomed NATO’s close security cooperation with Finland and Sweden, “which share our values and contribute to NATO-led operations and missions”. Allied leaders also pledged to bolster political dialogue and cooperation between NATO, Sweden and Finland “in support of our common security, including by crisis management preparation, exercises, and exchanging information and analysis,” including in the Baltic Sea region.