Region:
World
Category:
Politics

Biden says Finland and Sweden have 'full, total, complete backing' of US as they seek to join NATO

  • Biden says Finland and Sweden have 'full, total, complete backing' of US as they seek to join NATO
    U.S. President Joe Biden met the leaders of Sweden and Finland on Thursday Biden says Finland and Sweden have 'full, total, complete backing' of US as they seek to join NATO
Region:
World
Category:
Politics
Publication date:
Print article

U.S. President Joe Biden met the leaders of Sweden and Finland on Thursday after the nations set aside their long-standing neutrality and moved to join the NATO alliance in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

President Joe Biden on Thursday welcomed the leaders of Finland and Sweden to the White House and said both countries have the "full, total, complete backing" of the US after the two nations submitted their formal applications to become NATO members.

"Today, I am proud to welcome and offer the strong support of the United States for the applications of two great democracies and two close, highly capable partners to join the strongest, most powerful defensive alliance in the history of the world," Biden said while standing alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

The US President said, "The bottom line is simple, quite straightforward: Finland and Sweden make NATO stronger. Not just because of their capacity but because of their strong, strong democracies."

Sweden and Finland's bids to join NATO come in response to Russia's war on Ukraine, which sparked security concerns across the region. Their bids to join the alliance mark a dramatic evolution in European security and geopolitics.

Sullivan called Finland and Sweden's applications to join the alliance "a watershed moment in European security."
"Two nations with a long tradition of neutrality will be joining the world's most powerful defensive alliance, and they will bring with them strong capabilities and a proven track record as security partners," he said.

The three leaders are expected to speak in front of the press on Thursday at the White House "to affirm our shared vision for a peaceful and secure Euro-Atlantic region," Sullivan said.

Both Finland and Sweden already meet many of the requirements to be a NATO member, which include having a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy; treating minority populations fairly; committing to resolve conflicts peacefully; the ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations; and committing to democratic civil-military relations and institutions.