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President Biden signed documents supporting the entering sweden and Finland in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Tuesday.
“Putin thought he might tear us apart…weaken our resolve,” Biden said at a press conference announcing US ratification of NATO expansion to Finland and Sweden. “Instead, he gets exactly what he didn’t want. He wanted Findalisation. [Finland-ization] of NATO, but he gets the NATO-ization of Finland.”
Before signing the documents, Biden touted the expansion as a “watershed moment” that would enhance security “not just for Europe and the United States, but for the world.”
Biden urged the rest of NATO allies to quickly ratify the expansion as well, noting the common values Finland and Sweden have with the 30-member alliance.
“Sweden and Finland have strong democratic institutions, strong armies and strong, transparent economies that will meet all NATO requirements,” the president said.
The joining of Finland and Sweden will be the first significant expansion of the alliance since the of the Soviet Union collapse in the 1990s. Their acceptance into the bloc marks a rebuke to Russia amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The Senate approved the decision in a rare show of bipartisan support, voting 95-1 last week in favor of the expansion. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was the only senator to vote against the measure, arguing it would distract from China, which he sees as America’s main geopolitical enemy.
NATO MAKES THE RIGHT ASK OF SWEDEN AND FINLAND IN BOLD BIG ACTION
“We can do more in Europe…devote more resources, more firepower…or do what we need to do to deter Asia and China. We can’t do both,” Hawley said, according to the report. ‘Associated Press.
But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed the news, saying the move would bolster national security.
“Their membership will make NATO stronger and America safer. If a senator is looking for a valid excuse to vote no, I wish him luck,” McConnell said.
Biden immediately signaled his support for the measure after the Senate vote.
“I look forward to signing the membership protocols and welcoming Sweden and Finland, two strong democracies with very capable militaries, into the greatest defensive alliance in history,” Biden said in a statement. last week after the Senate overwhelmingly approved their membership.
Finland’s and Sweden’s application for NATO membership came in response to the invasion of ukraine in February, joining the alliance being strongly opposed by the Kremlin.
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NATO’s current 30 member states signed the two countries’ accession protocol last month, paving the way for formal ratification of their membership.
NATO’s current 30 members must ratify the decision to allow Finland and Sweden to join before they can be protected by Article Five of the NATO Charter, which states that an attack on a NATO country is an attack on all members.
Canada, Germany and Italy have already ratified the membership of the two countries.