US President Joe Biden welcomed Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson to the White House on Thursday after the leaders of both Nordic nations submitted applications for NATO membership.
The requests by Sweden and Finland to join the alliance come in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has stoked security concerns across the region. His moves to join NATO mark a dramatic evolution in European security and geopolitics.
The leaders are scheduled to hold a meeting in the White House Cabinet Room and then speak to the press in one of the grounds.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday that the meeting with leaders in Washington will allow the three nations to “coordinate the way forward” and “compare impressions” on the move. .
Sullivan called Finland and Sweden’s bids to join the alliance “a watershed moment in European security.”
The countries’ requests to join the US-led military alliance drew criticism from Russia, with President Vladimir Putin declaring that “the expansion of military infrastructure in this territory would certainly provoke our response”, in reference to a military reinforcement to the countries.
Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, which is a member of the alliance, promised to bar the two Nordic countries from joining NATO, on the grounds that the two governments harbor people linked to groups he considers terrorists, such as the militant group of the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan (PKK) and followers of Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt.
Meagan Vazquez, from CNN contributed reporting for this post.
Source: CNN Brasil