Its general secretary NATO Jens Stoltenberg he is “looking forward” to raising Finland’s flag at Alliance headquarters after Turkey’s ratification of its membership, and hopes to be able to welcome Sweden “as soon as possible”.

The two Nordic countries jointly applied to join NATO after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey and Hungary continue to block Sweden’s entry.

“I look forward to raising the Finnish flag at NATO headquarters the next few days”Jens Stoltenberg tweeted today ahead of the Alliance’s foreign ministers meeting scheduled to take place in Brussels on 4 and 5 April.

“I hope to welcome Sweden as a full member of the NATO family as soon as possible,” he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan still has to ratify the consent given yesterday by the Turkish Parliament for Finland’s accession, but all is ready at Alliance headquarters for the Finnish flag to be raised alongside those of the other 30 NATO member countries. .

“Finland will officially join our Alliance in the coming days. Its accession will make Finland safer and NATO stronger”said Jens Stoltenberg.

“Finland has very capable forces, advanced capabilities and strong democratic institutions. He will therefore bring a lot to our Alliance”he added.

Finland and Sweden have announced major military investments since the war in Ukraine began and are seen by NATO as major reinforcements for its northeastern flank.