President Niinistö hosts U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit in Helsinki: “We met our Nordic family”

Family photo at the Gothic Hall: Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, President of the United States Joe Biden, President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö, Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre. Photo: Roni Rekomaa/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö hosted a visit of President of the United States Joe Biden to Finland and a U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit in Helsinki on Thursday 13 July 2023.

President Biden arrived in Helsinki in the evening of Wednesday 12 July from the NATO Summit held in Vilnius.

President Niinistö received President Biden at the Presidential Palace on 13 July. The discussions between the heads of state focused on topics such as Finland’s NATO membership, defence cooperation, technology cooperation and the war in Ukraine.

“The new era in Finnish security policy has begun and you will be one of those who wrote it to history. I also want to thank you for the Vilnius meeting, it was very touching to feel the united between the allies. And I think it was greatly created by you” said President Niinistö to President Biden at their joint press conference.

The bilateral discussions also included negotiations about a defence cooperation agreement. “We are going to continue our security discussion bilateraly and that is of vital importance to Finland. In the same time also, Sweden and Denmark are having similar discussions and at the end, it seems that all the five Nordic countries will have a bilateral agreement with USA,” stated President Niinistö.

The tradition of meeting with the Nordic family began during President Obama’s term. “This has been very valuable tool for us to get even better understanding of each other”, continued the President at the press conference.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo was also present at the Presidents’ bilateral discussions as part of the Finnish delegation.

U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit

Following the bilateral discussions, President Niinistö hosted a U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit in the afternoon. In addition to President Niinistö and President Biden, the participants were Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister or Denmark Mette Frederiksen and Prime Minister or Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

The topics for the Summit were closer cooperation between the Nordic countries and the United States on security, environment and technology issues.

President Niinistö referred to President Biden talking with former President Obama and stating that if the whole world was like the Nordic countries, we wouldn’t have so many problems.

“That is more or less correct. If we left all the important decisions to the Nordic countries, things would go well for all of us,” said President Biden.

According to President Niinistö, there is really only one question on the table and that is ensuring the future: in terms of security, the environment and technology.

This is the third meeting between the leaders of the Nordic countries and the United States. The previous Summits were held in Stockholm in 2013 and Washington in 2016.

Video recording

Joint press conference of President Niinistö and President Biden