‘Norway welcomes Sweden’s and Finland’s decision to seek Nato membership. Nato is a defence alliance. The Nordic region poses no threat to anyone. Swedish and Finnish membership will enhance the security framework and will benefit the Alliance as a whole,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

Finland and Sweden applied for membership of Nato on 18 May. After the Alliance concludes its accession talks, the Nato Ambassadors will sign Finland’s and Sweden’s accession protocols. Next, the national assemblies of all 30 Nato member countries must approve Finnish and Swedish membership.

‘In Norway, this means the Storting must consent to ratification. I am pleased that we can present this proposition today and request the Storting’s consent to ratify the Nato accession protocols for Finland and Sweden,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.

Finland’s and Sweden’s security is important to our security. Swift ratification is in Norway’s security policy interests. The Government is therefore requesting advance consent of the Storting, before the Nato member countries have signed the accession protocols.

‘I greatly appreciate the fact that the parties in the Storting have clearly expressed their support for a rapid process as well. Finnish and Swedish membership of Nato will be an asset for Nato, the Nordic countries and Norway,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.

A Royal Decree on ratification of Finland’s and Sweden’s accession protocols was approved by the King in Council on Friday 20 May. This means that Norway is ready to sign the accession protocols as soon as Nato has concluded its accession talks with the two countries.