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U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit
Helsinki, Finland, July 13, 2023
July 14, 2023

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.

At the meeting, the leaders discussed numerous bilateral and multilateral issues, including support for Ukraine, NATO, climate change, and shared values.

Below, you can read remarks from President Biden and the Nordic leaders. You can also read the press release following the meeting, published by the office of the President of Finland.


Presidential Palace
Helsinki, Finland

2:20 P.M. EEST

PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ:  Mr. President, dear Joe, you’re most welcome to this Nordic family meeting.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Good to be back.

PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ:  You know all of us, and we know you.  We have understood and heard you referring many times on discussions so — by you and President Obama, and saying that if the whole world would be like Nordics, we wouldn’t have that many problems.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  That’s almost exactly what he would say.  “If we left the important decisions to the Nordics, we’d all be in good shape.”

PRESIDENT NIINISTÖ:  Oh, it’s even better.  (Laughter.)

Let’s — this afternoon, we try to be the worthy of that, by your assistance.

I think we have on the table only one issue that is guarantee the future — security-wise, environmental-wise, and technology-wise.

So, why don’t we get started, please.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Well, friends, it’s good to be here with all of you.  It’s good to be back in Finland and — (President Biden’s microphone is adjusted) — there you go.  It’s good to be back in Finland and with all of you.  And Barack wasn’t very far off.

And we just finished a historic NATO Summit — and I think it was historic — where we welcomed Finland’s accession to NATO and reached an agreement to move forward on Sweden’s membership in NATO.  And it was a reminder that the nations around the table are — not only share a common history, but we share common challenges and — I would add, presumptuously — common values.

And, you know, the vision for the world that we all share — and I think it’s a very similar vision — is one that’s more free, more secure, and opportunities made available for all.  Because we know that when other countries do well, particularly those countries who are struggling, we all do better.  We all do better.

And we’re working in lockstep on — to tackle climate crisis, which you’ve been leaders on for a long time, and — in order to literally preserve our planet.  It’s the only existential threat humanity faces, and we don’t have a lot of time.  But I’m confident if we continue to work together, we can deal with it.

And we’re pioneering the next generation of technologies, and that’s going to power everyone’s economies.  And I think we have to even — we have to continue to remain very close on coordinating.  Because it can be a great, great advantage for humanity, but it could also cause some great difficulties in artificial intelligence and — and other things if we don’t cooperate and know what is going on.

And together, we’re standing with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia’s brutal assault.

So, today, I look forward to discussing these and many other issues.  And — and, generally, it’s an honor to be with you all.  It’s an honor to be with you.  Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER JAKOBSDÓTTIR:  Well, thank you, Sauli, for organizing this meeting.  And thank you, Joe, for being with us, your Nordic friends, here today.

I think it’s actually very meaningful for all of us just arriving from Vilnius, the NATO Summit.  And we can continue our discussions on security but also talk about the other generational challenges we are all facing — the climate and the biodiversity crisis, if I may mention that.


PRIME MINISTER JAKOBSDÓTTIR:  And I must say that the U.S. obviously has a very important role to play there.  And we definitely want to do our bit there.

Artificial intelligence — and I agree — it is really the responsibility of our societies to ensure that it will benefit all of us because it can also have a detrimental effect.  And I would also like to mention societal resilience, which is a theme we often talk about here at our Nordic meetings, and I think we can actually, well, you know, learn a lot from each other when it comes to those issues.

So, I value this opportunity very much and — and look forward to our discussions.

PRIME MINISTER FREDERIKSEN:  Well, first of all, thank you for — for hosting us today, and good to see you in the Nordic part of — of the world, President Biden.  I think was — our meeting in — in NATO in Vilnius was very successful.  It’s — it’s a stronger Alliance now after we left the — the meeting than before.

And — and I think we — we have to salute you, because it was a brave decision, just after the war started, to gather with Sweden to — to walk in — in our direction in NATO.  And now you have become a member, and we are so happy that we will soon be able to welcome Sweden as well.

And, of course, this means something for the Nordic Region, because we have been together in so many areas through the years, but we have never been together in NATO before.

So, this also brings us some possibilities and opportunities in — in the Nordic region.

You said before that we have been frontrunners on the green transition, but it’s you who have brought U.S. back on the green agenda, fighting climate change.

And I think one of the areas where we can work even closer together, U.S. and the Nordic, are the idea of not only
ensuring that we will combat climate change but, at the same time, we have to create jobs for ordinary people.


PRIME MINISTER FREDERIKSEN:  So — and this is — this is the Nordic way of doing things, that we always think holistic.  So, not just solving a crisis or solving a problem but creating a better future for more people.

And — and with you as president in the White House, we have a possibility to do it together.

So, thanks again for — for inviting us.  It’s — it’s fantastic to be here.

PRIME MINISTER STØRE:  I will follow up on my — my colleagues.

And for you, President Biden, to be with the Nordics, as we said in Vilnius, this is the first time in modern times.  Historians will discuss whether you have to go back to the 14th century to see us around the same table.  (Laughter.)




PRIME MINISTER STØRE:  Yeah.  (Laughter.)  We were very young then.

But — but nonetheless, it is historic.  And I don’t think this is a time for looking back; it’s really time to see what will this mean.  I think it will be a stronger Nordic voice in NATO.  It will make us more secure and NATO stronger, as a strong Alliance.

And I’ll pick up on what Mette is saying.  I remember, President Biden, in the campaign, you said that “I’m a union man.”  And I think when we do work on — on the environment and the big energy transition, we really have to look after jobs and welfare.  Because if this is going to be a detriment for jobs and welfare, we will not succeed.

And — and I take it that we are likeminded on this.  And — and we have to be preparing for climate conferences this fall for — for new moments coming.  And I think this discussion here will also give us some inspiration for that.

In addition, when we will now start planning our security and national defense, we will do so for the first time with what we call interoperability in the northern region.  And that is a significant improvement.

PRIME MINISTER KRISTERSSON:  First, Sauli, thanks very much for hosting us again in this beautiful place.  The last time was together with President Zelenskyy.  Thank you so much.

And, Mr. President, thanks for joining us and —

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  (Inaudible.)

PRIME MINISTER KRISTERSSON:  (Laughs.)  Thanks for joining us anyway.  And thanks for all your help and all your support in our NATO accession.  I do appreciate it very, very much.

We met with you, President, in — I met you in the White House last week.  And we met, all of us, in the NATO Summit yesterday.  And now we meet in Helsinki.

So, recently, I have met you more than I met my own family, actually.  (Laughter.)  I like it a lot.  (Laughter.)

And I think there is a great potential for even closer U.S.-Nordic cooperation in all these fields of security, of green transition.  I think basically a stronger transatlantic link in our time’s big challenges — not least in relation to China, for example — that is an answer to — to many questions.

So, I really hope these are a few of the topics we will be able to discuss here today.  Thanks.

2:29 P.M. EEST

Press release of the U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit in Helsinki on 13 July 2023

Office of the President of the Republic of Finland
Press release 25/2023
13 July 2023

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.