NATIONAL NEWS

Biden formalizes US support for Finland, Sweden joining NATO

Aug 9, 2022, 3:34 PM
U.S. President Joe Biden signs the agreement for Finland and Sweden to be included in the North Atl...
U.S. President Joe Biden signs the agreement for Finland and Sweden to be included in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the East Room of the White House on August 9, 2022 in Washington, DC. Looking on, L-R, are Vice President Kamala Harris, Sweden's Ambassador to the United States Karin Ulrika Olofsdotter, and Finland's Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Mikko Hautala. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Republic of Finland and Kingdom of Sweden applied for membership in the Cold War-era military alliance. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden formally welcomed Finland and Sweden joining the NATO alliance Tuesday as he signed the instruments of ratification that delivered the U.S.’s formal backing of the Nordic nations entering the mutual defense pact, part of a reshaping of the European security posture after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In seeking to join NATO, Finland and Sweden are making a sacred commitment that an attack against one is an attack against all,” Biden said at the signing as he called the partnership the “indispensable alliance.”

The U.S. became the 23rd ally to approve NATO membership for the two countries. Biden said he spoke with the heads of both nations before signing the ratification and urged the remaining NATO members to finish their own ratification process “as quickly as possible.”

The Senate last week approved the two, once-non-aligned nations joining the alliance in a rare 95-1 vote that Biden said shows the world that “the United States of America can still do big things” with a sense of political unity.

The countries sought out NATO membership earlier this year to guarantee their security in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s rules require the consent of all of its 30 existing members before Finland and Sweden can officially accede into the alliance, which is expected in the coming months.

The candidacies of the two prosperous Northern European nations have won ratification from more than half of the NATO member nations in the roughly three months since the two applied. It marks one of the speediest expansions of the pact of mutual defense among the United States and democratic allies in Europe in its 73-year history.

U.S. State and Defense officials consider the two countries net “security providers,” strengthening NATO’s defense posture in the Baltics in particular. Finland is expected to exceed NATO’s 2% gross domestic product defense spending target in 2022, and Sweden has committed to meet the 2% goal.

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO in May, setting aside their longstanding stance of military nonalignment. It was a major shift of security arrangements for the two countries after neighboring Russia launched its war on Ukraine in late February. Biden encouraged their joining and welcomed the two countries’ government heads to the White House in May, standing side by side with them in a display of U.S. backing.

The U.S. and its European allies have rallied with newfound partnership in the face of Putin’s military invasion, as well as the Russian leader’s sweeping statements this year condemning NATO, issuing veiled reminders of Russia’s nuclear arsenal and asserting Russia’s historical claims to territory of many of its neighbors.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Hunter Biden leaves Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, South Carolina, on August 13. Fede...
Evan Perez, Kara Scannell and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Federal prosecutors weighing charges on two fronts in Hunter Biden investigation

Federal prosecutors believe they could charge Hunter Biden with tax crimes and a false statement but a final decision still has not yet been made.
1 day ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention...
Kaitlan Collins, Katelyn Polantz and Tierney Sneed, CNN

Justice Department insists to Trump’s attorneys that he return all documents marked classified

Justice Department officials have demanded in recent weeks to former President Donald Trump's attorneys that he return any outstanding documents marked as classified.
1 day ago
UNSPECIFIED, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Russians and Armenians seen with their luggage after crossing ...
BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press

2 Russians seek asylum after reaching remote Alaska island

Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid military service have requested asylum in the U.S. after landing on a remote Alaska island.
1 day ago
The US military conducted a raid in northeast Syria targeting a senior ISIS official on October 5, ...
Oren Liebermann and Ellie Kaufman

US kills two top ISIS leaders in Syria airstrike

US forces killed two top ISIS leaders in an airstrike in northern Syria on Thursday, according to two defense officials, one day after a US raid killed an ISIS smuggler.
1 day ago
MIDDLETOWN, MD- OCTOBER: 20
Stephen Ferrone (left) and his son Stevie Ferrone, 16  carry Herman bac...
AJ Willingham, CNN

How a 12-foot skeleton became the hottest Halloween decoration around

There are two kinds of people: those who understand the allure of a 12-foot skeleton decoration, and those who have yet to understand the allure of a 12-foot skeleton decoration.
1 day ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS APRIL 25:  In this photo illustration,  The Twitter profile of Elon Musk with mor...
Associated Press

Musk lawyers say Twitter refusing new $44B bid for company

Elon Musk’s lawyers say Twitter is refusing the Tesla billionaire’s renewed $44 billion bid for the social media company.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Biden formalizes US support for Finland, Sweden joining NATO