President Biden on Thursday applauded both Finland and Sweden for their "momentous" applications to join the NATO military alliance in response to Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, The Associated Press reports.
"Today I'm proud to welcome and offer the strong support in the United States for the applications of two great democracies, and two close, highly capable partners to join the strongest, most powerful defensive alliance in the history of the world," Biden said in the White House's Rose Garden, flanked by both Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.
"They meet every NATO requirement and then some," he continued, and "having two new NATO members in the high north will enhance the security of our alliance."
Prior to his remarks, Biden, Andersson, and Niinistö met to discuss NATO, as well as "broader European security concerns," AP writes.
Also on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan doubled down on Turkey's opposition to Finland and Sweden's membership bids, which he said pertains to Sweden's perceived support of a group Turkey views as terrorists.
At the White House, Niinistö said Finland was "open to discussing all the concerns Turkey may have concerning our membership in an open and constructive manner." Andersson also said Sweden was reaching out to Turkey, as is the U.S., National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan added on Wednesday.
Biden also announced that he was asking the Senate to approve both Finland and Sweden for accession once the ratification process concludes.