Secretary General, dear colleagues,
Last night we took another important step towards Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO. The trilateral memorandum we signed together with Türkiye opens the way for our accession. I want to thank you all, giving so stable support to us. It has been most crucial.
Now we can focus on the future. I assure you that Finland will do its best to strengthen the Alliance.
And there is an urgent need for that: for making this Alliance stronger. It begins in Europe. With Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, our security environment has changed dramatically.
I know that the Allies already spoke with President Zelensky this morning. The bravery of the Ukrainian people has touched us deeply. As Ukraine defends its independence, its sovereignty, and its freedom, it also defends our common values. We must therefore be unwavering in our support to Ukraine. Finland is currently preparing its seventh package of military aid to Ukraine. Maintaining our unity is crucial. It is our strongest asset.
The consequences of the war Russia is waging in Ukraine are profound. And they are global. The whole foundation for international peace and security is severely undermined. A major food security crisis is emerging. Our economic resilience is tested.
When we take a global view on security, we immediately encounter China. I still believe that China could, if it so chooses, play a constructive role in ending the war in Ukraine. But we also need to talk about our long-term reaction to the growing regional and global impact of China. I welcome the opportunity to exchange views today with likeminded partners from the Asia-Pacific region.
The whole world is in turmoil. For a firm defence of our common values, we need partners beyond the Euro-Atlantic area. What applies to NATO, also applies to a larger community. Together we are stronger.