President Joe Biden and dozens of other world leaders continue to hold meetings on Wednesday, one day after NATO announced the potential addition of two new countries.
Turkey announced it is dropping its opposition to allowing Sweden and Finland from joining the pact, opening the door for the nations to enter NATO.
"I'm pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey's concerns, including around arms exports, and the fight against terrorism,” said Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general.
President Joe Biden welcomed the news.
“Finland and Sweden are strong democracies with highly capable militaries,” Biden said. “Their membership will strengthen NATO’s collective security and benefit the entire Transatlantic Alliance. I look forward to working with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, our allies, and with Congress to ensure that we can quickly welcome them into our alliance.”
The move of adding Sweden and Finland could further upset the Kremlin, which has sought to weaken the NATO alliance.
The actions by Sweden and Finland come after Russia invaded Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO. Had Ukraine been a member of NATO, other nations in the alliance would have been obligated to provide defense for the nation. Membership in the alliance comes with a stipulation of providing military assistance if a member is attacked.