President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Russian President Vladimir Putin is getting ‘exactly what he didn’t want’ – the NATO-zation of Europe.
Biden praised the diplomatic breakthrough that resulted in Turkey pulling its objections from Sweden and Finland joining the alliance, marking its biggest expansion since the 1990s.
‘Putin was looking for the federalization of Europe and we’re gonna get the NATO-zation of Europe,’ Biden said when he met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg upon his arrival at NATO headquarters on Wednesday morning.
‘And that’s exactly what he didn’t want to do – it’s exactly what needs to be done to guarantee security for Europe. And I think it’s necessary and I’m looking forward to it happening,’ the president said.
Biden will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday afternoon on the sidelines of the NATO summit.
President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin is getting ‘exactly what he didn’t want’ – the NATO-zation of Europe – Biden made his comments when he met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the summit on Wednesday
On Tuesday evening, after multiple rounds of talks, Turkey lifted its objections to the two Nordic states joining the alliance.
‘I am pleased to announce we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO,’ Stoltenberg said that evening when he announced the deal.
‘Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey’s concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism,’ he added.
The three nations agreed to protect each other’s security as Europe faces its worst security crisis in decades in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In order to affirm the new members, NATO’s 30 allied parliaments must ratify the decision by leaders, a process that could take up to a year.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, third left, shakes hands with Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, right, next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto, second right, after signing a memorandum in which Turkey agrees to Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO; NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (left) looks on
In its objections, Turkey wanted Sweden and Finland to stop supporting Kurdish militant groups present on their territory, and to lift their bans on some sales of arms to Turkey.
Under the terms of the deal, Stockholm will intensifying work on Turkish extradition requests of suspected militants and both Finland and Sweden will work on amending their laws to toughen their approach to them.
Stoltenberg said both Nordic nations would lift their restrictions on selling weapons to Turkey.
Both Finland, which has a 810 mile border with Russia, and Sweden are now set to bring well-trained militaries into the alliance.
Under NATO treaties, an attack on any member would be considered an attack against all and trigger a military response by the entire alliance.
President Biden spoke with Erdogan on Tuesday morning before the deal was signed.
A senior administration official said that call was for the ‘president to be able to talk directly with President Erdogan about the membership application to Finland and Sweden and to encourage him to seize this moment and get this done.’
The official said Biden made the call at the request of Sweden and Finland.
The official spoke to reporters on Tuesday night to describe President Biden’s role in the process and asked for anonymity to speak frankly.
The official said President Biden didn’t want to get in the ‘middle’ of talks but wanted to put the weight on the scale at the end to get it done.
‘We have been very studious, and rejecting the idea that the United States was wanting to play broker. We did not think that would be productive,’ the official said.
The Biden administration sees the deal as a win.
‘This obviously, is just a powerful shot in the arm from the point of view of allied unity and also, you know, a historic moment for the Alliance to traditionally neutral countries, choosing to sign up to NATO and being welcomed by NATO,’ the senior administration official said.
President Joe Biden will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday
Finland and Sweden will bring with them almost 1million troops, including reserves, along with a huge amount of artillery, jets and submarines
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Finland and Sweden to launch NATO applications
Biden and Erdogan will have a formal sitdown on the sidelines of NATO on Wednesday.
The two leaders will now ‘talk about the broader set of issues and U.S.-Turkey relationship,’ the senior administration official said.
Erdogan said before leaving for Madrid that he would push Biden on an F-16 fighter jet purchase.
Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine prompted Sweden and Finland to apply to join NATO.
It’s the biggest expansion of the alliance since former Soviet bloc countries joined the group in 1999.