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HomeSportsBiden arrives in Helsinki to welcome Russian neighbor Finland to NATO

Biden arrives in Helsinki to welcome Russian neighbor Finland to NATO


US President Joe Biden is greeted by US Ambassador to Finland Douglas Hickey and his wife Dawn Ross as he arrives in Helsinki, Finland July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

HELSINKI — US President Joe Biden caps a week focused on rallying NATO unity behind Ukraine with a one-day visit to new member and Russian neighbor Finland on Thursday after criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his “cowardly lust for land and power.”

Biden will participate in a US-Nordic summit with the leaders of Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway in Helsinki and hold a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto before returning to Washington.

Finland’s decision to join NATO broke seven decades of military non-alignment and nearly doubled the length of the border NATO shares with Russia.

The country repelled a Soviet invasion attempt during World War II, but lost territory. It maintained accommodative relations with Russia until Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden’s visit comes almost exactly five years after then-President Donald Trump and Putin held summit talks in Helsinki and Trump struck a conciliatory tone with the Russian leader.

A White House official said Biden would welcome Finland’s entry into NATO and welcome Sweden’s possible entry.

“We are seeing a total change in the European security architecture as a result of Russia’s move, and the Nordic countries have generally moved closer to the West in response to Russia’s aggressive and destabilizing actions,” the official said.

Biden is also expected to discuss climate change and emerging technologies, among other topics.

Biden has often cited Finland’s and Sweden’s push to join NATO as evidence that Putin’s strategy has failed. “When Putin, and his cowardly lust for land and power, unleashed his brutal war against Ukraine, he was betting that NATO would break up… but he thought wrongly,” Biden said at this week’s NATO summit in Lithuania.

Biden arrived in Finland after successfully weathering two summit challenges: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan dropped his opposition to Sweden joining NATO, and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy cooled his rhetoric demanding quick entry. in the alliance

“We achieved all the goals that we set out to achieve,” Biden told reporters at Vilnius airport before leaving for Helsinki.


Sweden closes in on NATO membership after deal with Turkish president

NATO chief says no timetable set for Ukraine membership; Zelenskiy calls that ‘absurd’

Zelensky says he understands that Ukraine will be in NATO

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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