On 13 July 2023, the Presidents of Finland and the United States and the Prime Ministers of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden met in Helsinki for the third U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit. Building on the previous meetings in the same format, the leaders reconfirmed the strong U.S.-Nordic partnership and the intensifying cooperation between their countries, focusing on security, the environment, technology and society.
On security, the Nordic countries and the United States reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. They remained unwavering in their support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. They pledged to continue their support for Ukraine for as long as it takes, including through sustained security, economic, legal, and humanitarian assistance. The leaders committed to continue diplomatic outreach to build the widest possible international support for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine founded on the principles of the UN Charter. This includes an increased engagement and dialogue with global partners on the challenges faced due to the war.
Meeting immediately after the NATO Summit in Vilnius, the leaders reconfirmed the importance of the Alliance for regional and transatlantic security and stability. The United States and Nordic leaders welcomed the 10 July 2023 statement by Sweden, Türkiye, and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg and look forward to Sweden joining NATO as soon as possible. The leaders noted that Finnish and Swedish NATO membership will strengthen the ability of the Nordic region to contribute even further to the security of all NATO Allies. The Nordic countries also noted their appreciation for the continued U.S. commitment to transatlantic, European and Northern European security, and they stand ready to deepen their security and defense cooperation with the United States, including through the Nordic Defense Cooperation framework.
On the environment, the leaders underscored that climate change and biodiversity loss are among the most critical challenges facing our planet. In this context, the leaders noted the importance of protecting and preserving the Arctic and promoting its sustainable economic development, working in consultation with the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. U.S. and Nordic leaders discussed ways to intensify cooperation on clean technologies, resource and energy efficiency, energy security, critical mineral resources, and resilient supply chains. They noted that cooperation on these issues is critical to achieving shared goals of tackling the climate crisis, accelerating the clean energy transition, and upholding high environmental, social, labor, and governance standards. The leaders are committed to pursuing the opportunities in the transition, enabling new jobs and growth. The United States and the Nordic countries also work closely together in relevant international fora to address climate change, biodiversity loss, ocean health, and sustainable development.
On technology, the leaders recognized the crucial significance of critical and emerging technologies—with appropriate guardrails and risk mitigation measures—for global prosperity and security. The United States and the Nordic countries committed to step up cooperation on technologies such as 5G and 6G, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and quantum technologies. They noted that cooperation on fundamental and applied research enables the United States and Nordic partners to stay at the technological forefront and to develop technologies and standards that align with common values and interests and are applied in ways that protect democracy and uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms. The leaders underlined the strategic importance of international connectivity.
On society, the leaders reaffirmed the fundamental and shared values of democracy, respect for human rights, gender equality, the protection and equal treatment of all people, rule of law, and economic freedom as the basis of U.S.-Nordic cooperation. These values are indispensable to the resilience of our societies. From that foundation, increased cooperation between the United States and the Nordic countries will help reduce critical strategic dependencies and vulnerabilities and create a more prosperous and secure future for all our citizens. The leaders stressed the importance of people-to-people connections between their countries at all levels as an essential component of U.S.-Nordic ties.