Biden Endorses NATO Membership For Sweden And Finland
President Joe Biden formally welcomed Finland and Sweden joining the NATO alliance Tuesday as he signed the U.S. “instrument of ratification” welcoming the two countries, the final step for their endorsement by the United States, Reuters learnt.
“In seeking to join, Finland and Sweden are making a sacred commitment that an attack against one is an attack against all,” Biden said at the signing as he called the partnership the “indispensable alliance.”
The U.S. became the 23rd ally to approve NATO membership for the two countries. Biden said he spoke with the heads of both nations before signing the ratification and urged the remaining NATO members to finish their own ratification process “as quickly as possible.”
The Senate last week approved the two, once-neutral nations joining the alliance in a rare 95-1 vote that Biden said shows the world that “the United States of America can still do big things” with a sense of political unity.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s rules require the consent of all of its 30 existing members before Finland and Sweden can officially accede into the alliance, which is expected in the coming months.
The candidacies of the two prosperous Northern European nations have won ratification from more than half of the NATO member nations in the roughly three months since the two applied. It marks the speediest expansion of the pact of mutual defense among the United States and democratic allies in Europe in its 73-year history.
U.S. State and Defense officials consider the two countries net “security providers,” strengthening NATO’s defense posture in the Baltics in particular. Finland is expected to exceed NATO’s 2% gross domestic product defense spending target in 2022, and Sweden has committed to meet the 2% goal.
Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO in May, setting aside their longstanding stance of military nonalignment. Biden encouraged their joining and welcomed the two countries’ government heads to the White House in May, standing side by side with them in a display of U.S. backing.