(CNN) — Finland and Sweden have submitted their applications to join NATO, the military alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Wednesday.
“The requests you have submitted today are a historic step. The allies will now consider the next steps on their path to NATO,” Stoltenberg said after receiving the requests from the Finnish and Swedish ambassadors at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
“The security interests of all allies must be taken into account and we are determined to resolve all issues and reach quick conclusions,” he added.
Stoltenberg made the remarks along with Finnish and Swedish ambassadors to NATO, Klaus Korhone and Axel Wernhoff, respectively.
The Baltic countries support the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO
The leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania endorsed Finland and Sweden’s “historic decision” to apply for NATO membership in a joint statement on Wednesday.
“Finland and Sweden share the same values that unite NATO allies and share our commitment to the principles that form the basis of Euro-Atlantic security,” the leaders said.
“The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will enhance our collective security and strengthen the alliance.”
The statement was made by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjanis Karinš and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė.
“The Baltic states, together with Finland and Sweden, share responsibility for a peaceful, secure and prosperous Nordic Baltic region,” they said.
“Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NATO’s role as a defensive alliance fighting for peace, security and stability across the Euro-Atlantic has become even more important. We look forward to working together with Finland and Sweden within the alliance.” to achieve these goals.”