Washington: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed the US ratification of bids by Finland and Sweden to enter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), taking one step closer in response to Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
Taking to Twitter, President Biden said, "Finland and Sweden will make NATO stronger. Today, I signed the U.S. Instruments of Ratification, making the United States the 23rd Ally to approve their membership in NATO." Earlier this month, Senators voted 95-1 in favour of the Finland and Sweden accession, making the US, the 23rd of the 30 Nato countries give a formal endorsement.
"Just a few months ago, I welcomed the President of Finland and Prime Minister of Sweden to the White House to demonstrate the strong support the US had for both the country's decision to apply for membership in the NATO," Joe Biden said while addressing presser.
Biden praised Finland and Sweden, saying that both have strong democratic institutions, strong militaries and strong and transparent economies" that would help to bolster NATO.
Ahead of the ceremony, the White House said that US President talked with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and President Sauli Niinisto of Finland.
"President Biden congratulated them on the US Senate's swift, bipartisan ratification of their NATO accession protocols, and welcomed Finland and Sweden moving one step closer to becoming NATO Allies," the statement reads.
US President affirmed that the US will work with Finland and Sweden to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security and to deter and confront aggression or threat of aggression.
Earlier, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) 30 allies signed accession protocols for Sweden and Finland, kickstarting the process to admit the two Nordic countries into the alliance.
Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto and Foreign Minister of Sweden Ann Linde attended the signing ceremony." With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger and our people will be even safer, as we face the biggest security crisis in decades," declared NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a press conference after the signing ceremony.
NATO's 30 members formally invited Finland and Sweden to join their alliance at the NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain, just seven weeks after both countries handed their applications in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In the first instance, the accession process was blocked by Turkey, a NATO member that raised concerns over the fight against terrorism, however, after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Finland and Sweden, Turkey lifted its veto ahead of the NATO Madrid summit.
The next step was for the parliaments of all 30 NATO members to ratify Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO, according to their own national procedures. US has approved Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO and now time will tell if the same ground is held by all the other countries.