President Niinistö attends NATO Summit in Madrid

President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö travelled to Madrid to attend the NATO Summit held on 28–30 June 2022.

Before the summit, the President had a joint meeting with President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson, facilitated by Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg. As a result of a long meeting and thorough discussions, the countries signed a memorandum which confirms that Türkiye would support the invitation extended to Finland and Sweden to become NATO members at the Madrid Summit.

“Our joint memorandum underscores the commitment of Finland, Sweden and Türkiye to extending their full support against threats to each other’s security. Us becoming NATO Allies will further strengthen this commitment”, noted President Niinistö in his statement after the meeting.

On Wednesday, President Niinistö started his day by meeting King of Spain Felipe VI. He also attended the afternoon session of the Summit, at which not only NATO member states but also Finland, Sweden and Georgia, NATO’s Asia-Pacific partner countries and the EU were represented. Before the afternoon session, NATO issued a declaration inviting Finland and Sweden to become its members. A decision to sign the Accession Protocol was made at the same time.

“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”, President Niinistö said in his statement at the summit.

President Niinistö also had several discussions with other heads of state in connection with the Summit. Among others, he met President of Croatia Zoran Milanović, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, and President of France Emmanuel Macron. Together with the Prime Ministers of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, President Niinistö also gave a media statement in which he noted that Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO accession will further strengthen the Nordic brand.

The day ended with an evening event for heads of state at which the discussions continued with such partners as President of the United States Joe Biden.

The last time President Niinistö participated in a NATO Summit when it was held as a video conference on 25 February 2022. He also attended the NATO Summits in Brussels in 2018, in Warsaw in 2016, in Wales in 2014 and in Chicago in 2012.