In a phone call on Friday morning with Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, US President Joe Biden reiterated support for Nato’s open-door policy, the White House said. He had also stressed that Sweden and Finland had the right to decide their own future.
The State Department’s top diplomat for Europe, Karen Donfried said on Friday: “The United States would support Finland or Sweden joining NATO should they choose to do so.” A formal membership application by the two countries would be “further evidence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic miscalculation,” she said.
Finland and Sweden are “valued Nato partners” and “thriving democracies,” Donfried said. Referring to remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the top diplomat said Turkey’s position must now be clarified.
Erdogan has voiced opposition to Sweden and Finland joining Nato. Scandinavian countries, he said, were “guesthouses for terrorist organizations” such as the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK.
But Sweden and Finland’s foreign ministers are hoping to meet their Turkish counterpart in Berlin on Saturday to discuss their countries’ potential Nato bids.
Swedish foreign minister Ann Linde said in a statement to AFP that she would have the opportunity to talk about “a potential Swedish Nato application” with Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at a Nato meeting in Berlin.