President Biden met with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the White House to discuss their plan to join NATO. Known for their policies on military neutrality for decades, Finland and Sweden submitted their applications to become members of the military organization on Wednesday.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine sparked security concerns that prompted the two countries to apply to join the military alliance. If Sweden and Finland join NATO, the organization will increase to 32 member countries.
President Biden expressed his enthusiasm for Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, saying, “they meet every NATO requirement and then some.” President Biden added that having these two countries from the high North as part of NATO will enhance security and deepen cooperation across the alliance.
Turkey, a NATO member, is currently opposed to Finland and Sweden joining. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens to block their membership, saying the two Nordic countries harbor people linked to groups Turkey identifies as terrorist organizations.
All 30 NATO members must approve Finland’s and Sweden’s bids in order for them to be accepted into the alliance.