WASHINGTON — President Biden signed a measure on Tuesday that might increase NATO to embody Sweden and Finland in an effort to bolster the Western alliance practically six months after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia launched his invasion of Ukraine.
“It’s critical now to deter threats before they harm our people, our allies and our interests,” Mr. Biden mentioned from the White House. “It’s how we address instability and aggression, with allies at our side amplifying the capacity to respond effectively.”
“Sweden and Finland have strong Democratic institutions, strong militaries and strong and transparent economies,” the president added. “They will meet every NATO requirement — we’re confident of that — and it will make our alliance stronger.”
All 30 present members of NATO should approve of the addition of the 2 international locations, and more than 20 have already performed so. The NATO enlargement gained important momentum after Turkey lifted a veto on adding Sweden and Finland following a set of commitments by the 2 international locations that they might act in opposition to terrorism.
The turnaround by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey was a big accomplishment within the Biden administration’s quiet diplomatic push to unify the West round countering Russia’s assault on Ukraine.
The enlargement of NATO has acquired overwhelming assist amongst Democrats and Republicans in a deeply divided Washington. Last week, the Senate voted 95 to 1 to give its approval, with solely Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, opposing the transfer.
Only the Senate has the facility to approve treaties, however final month, the House handed a nonbinding decision in assist of Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO in a lopsided vote of 394 to 18.
Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and President Sauli Niinisto of Finland visited the White House in May, and Mr. Biden mentioned on Tuesday that he spoke to them on the cellphone earlier than the signing ceremony.
“Today we see all too clearly how NATO remains an indispensable alliance,” Mr. Biden mentioned, including, “When Finland and Sweden bring the number of allies to 32, we’ll be stronger than ever.”
Democrats have argued that including Finland and Sweden to NATO would cut back the burden on the United States and different allies which are aiding Ukraine. The approval in Washington was one other pivot away from the overseas coverage of President Donald J. Trump, who brazenly criticized the alliance.