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Sweden and Finland formally invited to become Nato members

Nato leaders agreed on Wednesday to formally invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance after Turkey struck a deal with the Nordic duo to drop its objections, a statement said.

Sweden and Finland formally invited to become Nato members
US President Biden meets his Turkish counterpart Tecep Tayyip Erdogan at the Nato summit in Madrid. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

“Today, we have decided to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of Nato, and agreed to sign the Accession Protocols,” a declaration from a summit in Madrid said.

 
The statement on the invitation, point 18 out of 20 in the declaration, stressed the importance of the trilateral memorandum struck with Turkey on Tuesday night. 
 
“In any accession to the Alliance, it is of vital importance that the legitimate security concerns of all Allies are properly addressed,” the declaration reads. “We welcome the conclusion of the trilateral memorandum between Türkiye, Finland, and Sweden to that effect.”
 
Finland and Sweden joining Nato “will make them safer, Nato stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure,” the declaration continue. 
 
It also reiterated security guarantees given by Nato countries, stating that during the accession process the security of Sweden and Finland would be “of direct importance to the Alliance”. 

 
During a meeting with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the start of the meeting, US President Joe Biden said that Sweden and Finland’s accession to the defence alliance showed that the strategy of Vladimir Putin had failed. 
 
“It demonstrates that President Putin has not succeeded in closing Nato’s door. He’s getting the opposite of what he wants,” he said. “He wants less Nato. President Putin is getting more Nato, while Finland Sweden are joining our Alliance.” 

Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauséda said that it was likely that byt he time his country hosts Nato’s next summit in Riga next year, both Finland and Sweden will be members. 

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NATO

US President Biden signs ratification of Swedish Nato bid

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed US ratification of bids by Finland and Sweden to enter Nato, taking expansion of the Western alliance in response to Russia's Ukraine invasion one step closer.

US President Biden signs ratification of Swedish Nato bid

Biden said the two northern European countries would become “strong, reliable highly capable new allies” by making the “sacred commitment” to
mutual defense in the US-led transatlantic alliance.

Earlier this month, the Senate voted 95-1 in favor of the Nordic states’ accession, making the United States the 23rd of the 30 NATO countries to give formal endorsement. Unanimous support is needed for new membership.

Biden, who has made restoring traditional US alliances a cornerstone of his administration after Donald Trump’s move to upend ties around the world,
praised NATO as “the foundation of American security.”

“The United States is committed to the transatlantic alliance.”

Biden also praised Finland and Sweden, saying both have “strong democratic institutions, strong militaries and strong and transparent economies” that
would now bolster NATO.

President Vladimir Putin’s Russia “shattered peace and security in Europe” by invading Ukraine, Biden said. “Putin thought he could break us apart…. Instead, he is getting exactly what he did not want.”

The White House said that ahead of the signing ceremony, Biden talked by telephone with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finland’s
President Sauli Niinisto.

“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 White House said.

While the process plays out, “President Biden affirmed that the United States 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,” the statement said.

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