May 17, 2022 - World

Biden to meet leaders of Finland, Sweden to discuss NATO applications


Joe Biden on May 16. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will meet with the leaders of Finland and Sweden on Thursday as both countries are poised to apply for NATO membership.

Why it matters: The addition of Finland and Sweden to the NATO alliance would dramatically change the security landscape in Europe and more than double the length of the alliance's borders with Russia, Axios' Erin Doherty writes.

  • This transformation of Europe's security landscape was triggered by Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The big picture: Biden's meeting with Finland's President Sauli Niinistö and Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will take place at the White House, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Tuesday.

  • "The leaders will discuss Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO applications and European security, as well as strengthening our close partnerships across a range of global issues and support for Ukraine," Jean-Pierre said.

State of play: Finland's parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of approving the country's bid to join the alliance, AP reported. The country is now expected to sign a formal application and file it to NATO headquarters in the next few days.

  • Sweden signed a formal request to join NATO on Tuesday, per AP.

Go deeper: Why NATO formed and why Finland and Sweden want to join the alliance

Go deeper