Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto’s speech at Annual Meeting of Heads of Mission 2022,

On the morning of 24th of February, we woke up to a new world. Russia had started its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. In the first hours, we did not yet know in what kind of a changed world we would live in the coming months, and how different everything would be from the post-Cold War era we had come to know.

In the course of spring 2022, Finland showed that, in a difficult situation, it is able to act quickly and coherently. Due to our history, we are a security-oriented people and, when the European security order broke, we made a united and determined decision to apply for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.[…]

Still, many already wonder what kind of a NATO member Finland will become and how will the membership affect Finland’s foreign policy more broadly.

The content and profile of Finland’s NATO membership does not need to be invented from scratch. Finland has been involved in NATO’s Partnership for Peace Programme since 1994, as well as in the Enhanced Opportunities Program since 2014. It is easy to continue building upon these existing structures, practices, policies and experiences.

Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO memberships strengthen the Northern dimension of the alliance and enables deepening the defence cooperation between the Nordic countries and the Baltic States. We also bring Arctic knowledge, experience in crisis management, know-how in new technologies and resilience into the alliance. We do not want to form any blocks within the alliance – our membership strengthens the security of all of its members.

It is also worth noting that NATO members pursue their own independent foreign policies. Nor does the alliance produce legislation, unlike the European Union.

Membership in the alliance is therefore not incompatible with other objectives of our foreign policy, such as our human rights based approach, peace mediation or disarmament. The European Union, to which a large number of NATO members belong, will continue to be the key reference framework, and channel of influence. Läs talet