European countries congratulated Finland for officially becoming the 31st member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at a ceremony Tuesday at the military alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated Finland on joining NATO, stressing that its membership will make the alliance stronger.
"Finland is now a member of NATO – this is good news and a gain for transatlantic security,” Scholz said on Twitter, reaffirming his government’s support for Sweden’s membership bid.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described Finland’s membership as an historic day for NATO.
The British government welcomed Finland and expressed its hopes to see Sweden quickly follow suit.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, in Brussels to attend a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers, said: "Today will go into the history books for NATO as a defensive Alliance. 31 countries strong, we welcome Finland to the table.”
"Our northern neighbour is now also our neighbour at the NATO table...This is monumental for the security of the Baltic Sea region and the whole Alliance," Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on Twitter.
In Brussels, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said: "The Baltic Sea is literally becoming a NATO sea." He said he also wishes to see Ukraine join the alliance one day.
"Welcome to NATO, Finland! I hope we will welcome our Swedish friends very soon, too," French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.