On Thursday, leaders of Sweden and Finland met with US President Joe Biden in the White House after submitting their applications for NATO membership on Wednesday.
Here is what you need to know about what the leaders said at the press conference in Rosenträdgården after their meeting in the cabinet room.
Biden offers “strong support” for Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO bid
“Finnish and Swedish troops, they have already served shoulder to shoulder with the US and NATO forces in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. And both Finland and Sweden are already working in coordination with the United States and our other allies and partners to support the brave people of Ukraine, “said Biden, adding that the countries are already meeting everyone NATO’s demands, “and a little more.“
The Biden administration is coming submit reports to the US Congress about this NATO accession for both countries
This is “so that the Senate can effectively and quickly proceed with advice and consent to the treaty”, Biden announced on Thursday. Within the United States, at least two-thirds of the Senate must vote to approve new member states of the Defensive Alliance. Likewise the legislators in all 30 current members must approve new NATO applicants.
Leaders of Finland and Sweden expressed their hopes for rapid ratification
“Russia’s war in Ukraine has changed Europe and our security environment. Finland is taking the step to become a member of NATO “To strengthen not only our own security, but also to strengthen broader transatlantic security,” said Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.
Finland shares a 800 km long border with Russia.
The Swedish government “has come to the conclusion that the security for it The Swedish people will be best protected within NATO the alliance, and this is backed up by very broad support in the Swedish parliament, says Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.
Turkey was also mentioned by all leaders
As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated earlier on Thursday that his country “will say no to Sweden’s and Finland’s entry into NATO.”
As an explanation, he has referred to national security problems. Earlier this week, Erdogan accused both countries of hosting Kurdish “terrorist organizations.”
He was referring mainly to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which strives for an independent state in Turkey. The group has been in an armed struggle with Ankara for decades and has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.