The President of the United States, Joe Biden on Tuesday has initialled ratification instruments endorsing NATO membership bids by Sweden and Finland, an expansion of the Alliance in reply to Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.
President Biden said that the two Nordic nations would become “strong, reliable, highly capable new allies” by joining the US-led military alliance at a signing ceremony in the White House.
The United States Senate ratified last week, by a 95-1 majority, the two accession protocols of Finland and Sweden to the Atlantic Alliance.
All NATO member nations must ratify these protocols before the two nations’ membership can become effective.
President Biden has assured the restoration of transatlantic ties, mauled by his predecessor Donald Trump, a foreign policy priority. NATO is a “foundation of American security,” he noted on Tuesday. He also praised the fact that Finland and Sweden have “strong democratic institutions” and solid armies that will bolster NATO.
As per the information released by the White House, President Biden held a telephonic conversation with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö & Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on Tuesday, congratulating them on being a “step closer” to joining NATO.
Till now, around 23 member nations have confirmed the accession protocols out of the 30 needed. The main hurdle is Turkey, which criticizes Stockholm and Helsinki for their alleged benevolence towards the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist organization.
By invading Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin “shattered peace and security in Europe,” said Biden. “Putin thought he could break us apart (…). Instead, he is getting exactly what he did not want.”