EA small ceremony at the White House on Thursday aimed to clarify the historical dimension of the event: President Joe Biden received Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö to underline how much he approves of the two countries’ candidacies for NATO membership. . Biden said he was proud that both countries have America’s full support. He assured that the request would be brought quickly to the Senate. Two proudly independent countries have decided to join the strongest alliance in history.
The Finnish president thanked Biden. When he was at the White House in March, he encouraged him to take this step. Sweden’s Andersson said it was a historic moment for Sweden after 200 years without the kingdom belonging to any alliance. In these “dark times”, the transatlantic alliance is showing unity.
Biden had previously issued a statement on Wednesday in which he not only stressed that he would rush to work with congressional and NATO partners to include the two countries in “the strongest defense alliance in history.” . His statement also included an indication of the status of the two candidates during the transition period: During the candidacy period, the United States would work with Finland and Sweden to “remain vigilant” against “any threat” to common security and to “deter attacks or threats of attack.” and to oppose”. The National Security Council had to work on this wording for a long time. It is a message to Russia and represents nothing less than a security guarantee from Washington until Finland and Sweden are also placed under the protective umbrella of Article 5 of the NATO treaty.
Biden had shown his confidence Wednesday that it would happen. Regarding the Turkish resistance to the admission of Finland and Sweden, he had indicated that he believed that a solution would be found. Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, was also optimistic. “We are confident that Finland and Sweden will eventually have an effective and efficient accession process that can address Turkey’s concerns,” he said at the White House. Helsinki and Stockholm “have worked directly with Turkey to achieve this, but we are also talking with the Turks to try to facilitate the process”. He referred to a conversation between Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and his Turkish colleague Mevlut Cavusoglu.
After talks with Blinken at the United Nations on Wednesday in New York, Cavusoglu himself stressed that there was still no agreement. Cavusoglu told Turkish reporters after the meeting that he had once again clarified Turkey’s position on the military alliance’s northern expansion. Basically, he called the conversation with Blinken “extremely positive.” Blinken said Turkey’s concerns were legitimate.
Sweden and Finland had formally applied for admission to the defense alliance shortly before the NATO Council meeting on Wednesday morning, but Ankara has so far blocked the launch of the process. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already made it known several times that he does not want to accept the membership of Finland and Sweden. He has always justified his position by the fact that the two countries support the Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK and the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria. Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, Europe and the United States.