The prime ministers of the Baltic states said they will do everything possible to ensure Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO goes "swiftly and smoothly".
"We [...] warmly welcome the historic decisions by Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership," Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjanis Karinš and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonyte wrote in a joint statement published on Wednesday.
"We will do our utmost to ensure that this accession process will go swiftly and smoothly," they said, adding they look forward to working with Finland and Sweden.
The ministers pointed out that the Baltics and Nordics share the same threats and challenges and will work together to achieve their goals.
Finland and Sweden share the same values as the NATO allies and commitment to the Euro-Atlantic security, they said, the country's accession will "enhance our collective security and strengthen the Alliance".
"In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the NATO's role as a defensive Alliance that strives for peace, security, and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic has become even more important," the prime ministers said.
The chairmen of each country's parliament's foreign affairs committees also welcomed the news.
"Our parliaments are ready to be among the first to approve the accession protocols of Finland and Sweden as soon as the North Atlantic Council has approved these protocols," Marko Mihkelson, Rihards Kols and Laima Andrikiene wrote in a joint statement.
On Wednesday, Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO. Both countries' ambassadors to the alliance handed over their applications in the Brussels HQ this morning.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said it was a "historic moment" in European security and politics.
The prime minister's full statement can be read below.
We, the Prime Ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, fully endorse and warmly welcome the historic decisions by Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership.
Finland and Sweden share the same values that bind the NATO Allies together and share our commitment to the principles that constitute the foundation of Euro-Atlantic security. The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will enhance our collective security and strengthen the Alliance.
The Baltic States together with Finland and Sweden share the responsibility for a peaceful, secure, and prosperous Nordic-Baltic region. The accession of Finland and Sweden into NATO will help to achieve these goals and open new opportunities for our countries for closer and stronger cooperation in the fields of security and defense.
Our security interests are the same, and we share similar security threats and challenges. Therefore, the Baltic States will address these threats and challenges in close cooperation and solidarity with Finland and Sweden, both as NATO Allies, and during the time of Finland and Sweden's accession to the NATO process. We will do our utmost to ensure that this accession process will go swiftly and smoothly.
In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, NATO's role as a defensive Alliance that strives for peace, security, and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic has become even more important. We are looking forward to working together with Finland and Sweden within the Alliance to achieve these goals.
Editor: Helen Wright