Biden signs documents advancing Finland, Sweden NATO accession
Finland and Sweden are one step closer to joining the NATO alliance after US President Joe Biden signed the ratification document.
US President Joe Biden signed ratification documents on Tuesday approving Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO, bringing the countries one step closer to officially abandoning their long-standing neutrality allegedly in response to the Russian war in Ukraine.
"It was and is a watershed moment, I believe, in the alliance, and for the greater security and stability not only of Europe and the United States but of the world," Biden said during remarks prior to signing the documents.
According to Biden, 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.
The US Senate approved a resolution last week ratifying Finland and Sweden's applications, allowing Biden to formally submit US approval for their membership in the alliance. The applications of the two countries to NATO have yet to be approved by Turkey, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
The US Senate voted 95 to 1 to ratify Finland and Sweden's NATO application to join the alliance, reaching the two-thirds threshold needed for approval.
In order for the applications to be accepted, all 30 NATO members must unanimously approve the application. Both countries have been neutral for decades before applying for membership.
During his remarks, Biden also urged the remaining countries to expedite their own ratification processes in order to bring Finland and Sweden into the alliance.
Yesterday, the Finnish Defense Ministry said that the Finnish military will send 20 military instructors to the UK to take part in a training program for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The initiative was first proposed last June by outgoing UK PM Boris Johnson with the offer to launch a major training operation for Ukrainian forces, with the potential to train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days.
"Finland will send approximately 20 service personnel to the United Kingdom to take part in a training program for the Ukrainian Armed Forces," the Finnish defense ministry said on the website.