Deputy Secretary General: We will continue to build a bridge for Ukraine to join NATO

  • 10 Apr. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 10 Apr. 2024 16:16

Speaking at the NATO Open Door Conference in Helsinki on Wednesday (10 April 2024), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană welcomed Ukraine’s readiness to join NATO and said that “NATO’s door remains open” and “no violence or intimidation can stop that.”

NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană speaking at the Open Door Helsinki conference

To mark the twentieth anniversary of their accession to NATO, the embassies of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia organized the event. In his virtual address, Mr Geoană said that he could not think of a better host than Finland to talk about NATO’s open door policy. “Together with our newest member Sweden, you have shown the world what freedom means,” he said and added that President Putin has failed in his attempt to “slam NATO’s door shut.”

The Deputy Secretary General highlighted that Ukraine has, like others before it in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltics, chosen the path to NATO membership and NATO will continue to “to build a bridge for Ukraine to join our great Alliance,” as we look to Washington Summit in July.  

From 1949, NATO has grown from twelve members to thirty-two. The Deputy Secretary General stressed that NATO’s open door policy has brought more forces, more capabilities, and more people with skills and expertise into the Alliance. ”NATO Allies from the Baltic to the Black Sea contribute significantly to NATO’s collective security,” he said, stressing that these countries also contribute to NATO’s innovation ecosystem, including test centres and accelerator sites part of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA).

The NATO Open Door Conference in Helsinki was co-organized by the embassies of the participating countries in collaboration with the Finnish Institute for International Affairs and the Atlantic Council of Finland.