Joe Biden Thursday closes a week focused on achieving the NATO unit around Ukraine with a visit to Finlanda new member and neighboring country of Russia, after lashing out at Russian ruler Vladimir Putin for his “vile lust for territory and power.”
Biden will participate in a Nordic-American summit with leaders of Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway in Helsinki and will give a press conference together with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, before returning to Washington.
Finland’s decision to join the NATO broke with seven decades of military non-alignment and practically doubled the width of the border that the defensive alliance shares with Russia.
The country fought a Soviet invasion attempt during World War II, but was losing territory. He maintained friendly relations with Russia until Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden’s visit comes almost exactly five years after then-President Donald Trump and Putin held summit talks in Helsinki and Trump struck a conciliatory tone with the Russian leader.
A white house official He said that Biden would welcome Finland’s entry into NATO and would welcome the possible entry of Sweden.
We are witnessing a total change in the European security architecture as a result of Russia’s move, and the Nordic countries have generally moved closer to the West in response to Russia’s aggressive and destabilizing actions,” the official said.
Biden is also expected to speak on climate change and emerging technologies.
Biden has often pointed to the push by Finland and Sweden to join NATO as proof that Putin’s strategy has backfired.
When Putin, and his vile lust for territory and power, unleashed his brutal war on Ukraine, he bet that NATO would break up… but he was wrong,” the US president told the NATO summit in Lithuania this week.
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Biden arrived in Finland after successfully overcoming two challenges at the summit: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan dropped his stance on Sweden joining NATO, and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky cooled his speech demanding swift entry into the alliance .