The United States has become the 23rd ally to approve Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership bid after President Joe Biden signed the U.S. Instruments of Ratifications of the two countries’ Accession Protocols to the defense alliance. The Senate had overwhelmingly endorsed the NATO Accession Protocols last week.
The North Atlantic Council’s approval of the applications for NATO membership requires ratification by the parliaments of all the countries of the 30-member bloc.
Speaking ahead of the signing at the White House, Biden urged the remaining seven allies to complete their own ratification progress as quickly as possible.
He said Sweden and Finland have strong democratic institutions, strong militaries, and strong and transparent economies. He added that Washington is confident that they will meet every NATO requirement and make the Alliance stronger, and it will make America and the American people safer in the process.
“In a moment when Putin’s Russia has shattered peace and security in Europe, when autocrats are challenging the very foundations of a rule-based order, the strength of the transatlantic alliance and America’s commitment to NATO is more important than it has ever been,” Biden said.
He added, “The only time in history Article 5 has been invoked was on 9/11, when the United States was attacked and all our Allies rallied to our side. The United States will never forget that, and we will never fail in our pledge to defend every, every, every inch of NATO.”
NATO leaders took a historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of the Alliance at their summit in Madrid in June.
The Protocols were signed on behalf of the United States and other Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty on July 5 in Brussels.
Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which outlines NATO’s Open Door policy, is part of the doctrinal foundation of the Alliance.
The defense alliance currently has 30 members. A potential expansion of the defense bloc with the addition of these two countries is seen as a big political challenge by Russian President Vladimir Putin as his war to conquer Ukraine grinds ahead.
Source: Read Full Article