Biden Ramps Up Efforts To Secure NATO Membership For Sweden

( – US President Joe Biden told Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson during a June 5 meeting at the White House that he’s “looking forward” that Sweden can be part of NATO. The commander-in-chief made these comments at a moment when the European nation is still waiting for the final approval to have a membership in the alliance. Right now, this possibility remains unclear as the government of Turkey and Hungary have expressed doubts about supporting Sweden’s inclusion.

During the meeting, President Biden told Kristersson that he wanted the world to know that the United States “fully supports Sweden’s membership.” He also said that Washington considers Stockholm an important ally and was “anxiously looking forward” to watching its bid being ratified by NATO members.

The Swedish Prime Minister thanked President Biden for maintaining the “transatlantic unity” during the crisis created by Russia after invading Ukraine. He also thanked the American president’s “strong support” for Sweden’s intent to join the alliance.

Following the meeting, Kristersson told reporters that he and President Biden agreed that the NATO summit in Lithuania is the perfect time for Sweden’s entry. However, he said this could be difficult as he knows that Budapest and Istanbul don’t fully support their bid.

Both Sweden and Finland decided to drop their official neutrality to request membership in NATO. This decision came in response to the Kremlin’s decision to invade neighbor Ukraine in 2022. Geopolitical experts like Ian Bremmer have said this historic move from Helsinki and Stockholm represents collateral damage for the Kremlin. He explained that Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine to prevent this country from being part of NATO, but this empowered the alliance by absorbing Sweden and Finland.

After the meeting, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that President Biden has been “steadfast” on the need to approve Swedish’s membership. However, she didn’t say whether the president is planning to have separate meetings with his counterparts in Hungary and Turkey before the summit. 

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