UPDATED 9:31 AM PT – Wednesday, June 29, 2022
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance has formally invited Finland and Sweden to join. During a press conference in Spain Wednesday, he thanked both countries and Turkey for coming to an agreement to pave the way for the move.
We now have an agreement that paves the way for #Finland & #Sweden to join #NATO. I thank Presidents @RTErdogan & @Niinisto & @SwedishPM for the constructive spirit that made this historic decision possible. pic.twitter.com/dCEeoNjkOl
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) June 28, 2022
Turkey had threatened to veto both nations potential ascension, but dropped its opposition after reaching a deal addressing its concerns regarding arms exports and the fight against terrorism.
Congratulations to Finland, Sweden, and Turkey on signing a trilateral memorandum – a crucial step towards a NATO invite to Finland and Sweden, which will strengthen our Alliance and bolster our collective security – and a great way to begin the Summit. pic.twitter.com/ug47DhRDGl
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 28, 2022
Stoltenberg asserted the alliance is not going to allow Russia to intimidate its efforts to expand. He also said NATO leaders have endorsed a new strategic concept, making it clear that Russia poses the greatest threat to the alliance.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden announced the US is ramping up forces in Europe amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During a meeting with Stoltenberg in Spain Wednesday, he said the US is enhancing its “forced posture” in Europe. The President also praised Sweden and Finland for their push to join the alliance and said it will make NATO stronger as well as more secure.
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