Brussels, 20 June 2022 (TDI): Defense Secretary of the United States (US), Lloyd J.Austin III held a press conference at the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in Brussels on June 16, 2022.

Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J.Austin III said NATO is welcoming two new members to the Alliance. Further, he said Finland and Sweden made the historic decisions to apply for membership. It reflects the appeal of NATO’s core values.

Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson said it is great to be back at Harpsund, and thank you for this warm welcome. Furthermore, Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J.Austin III said Sweden is NATO’s neighbor and close friend.

NATO and Sweden share the same values, share the same neighborhood and share the same challenges.

Sweden and Finland apply to join NATO

Defense Secretary, Lloyd J.Austin III, warmly welcomed the sovereign decisions by Sweden and Finland to apply for NATO membership.

Additionally, Sweden and Finland’s membership in NATO will boost transatlantic security. In addition, it will boost Nordic and Baltic defense cooperation and strengthen the Alliance’s presence in the High North.

Sweden and Finland are participating in NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence exercise across the Baltic region and Poland.

Further, he thanked for Sweden’s valuable contributions to NATO missions and exercises. Furthermore, Lloyd J.Austin III lauded the professionalism and dedication of the Swedish forces.

Apart from this, Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J.Austin III thanked Swedish Prime Minister for her strong personal leadership. In addition, he said thank you for your political vision, and your determination.

In addition to this, he also thanked for Sweden’s significant contributions to Euro-Atlantic security. Finally, welcomed the NATO summit in Madrid after this month.