Secretary General makes first visit to Helsinki since Finland joined NATO, welcomes strong support to Ukraine

  • 05 Jun. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 06 Jun. 2024 16:36

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Alexander Stubb in Helsinki on Thursday (6 June 2024), in his first visit since Finland joined NATO.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with Alexander Stubb, President of Finland

The Secretary General stressed that with Finland as an Ally, NATO is stronger and Finland is safer. He welcomed that Finland invests 2% of its GDP in defence. “We also welcome the many Finnish contributions to NATO missions and operations. Just actually this week, you started to do air policing out of Romania. That's yet another example of how you contribute to our shared security,” he said.

Mr Stoltenberg also commended Finland for its support to Ukraine, including 2 billion euros in military aid thus far. “We will discuss at the NATO Summit and in the preparations for the NATO Summit, how to ensure that we stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes,” he said.

“Over the last months, we have seen some gaps, some delays in the provision of military support to Ukraine. We need to ensure that that doesn't happen again. And that's the reason why we are now working in NATO on how to establish a NATO mission for Ukraine,” added Mr Stoltenberg. He said that Allies should agree on a long-term financial pledge to ensure that Ukraine gets the predictability and accountability it needs.

While in Helsinki, the Secretary General also participated in an event hosted by the Atlantic Council of Finland alongside President Stubb, and met with Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen and Defence Minister Antti Häkkänen. 

On Friday, the Secretary General will visit Sweden and meet with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.