Joe Biden visits Helsinki to welcome Finland’s entry into NATO

The American president arrived in Finland on Thursday for a short visit ending his European tour. In particular, he will take part in a summit alongside the leaders of Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway.

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Last stop in Helsinki. US President Joe Biden arrived in Finland on Thursday July 13 for a one-day visit, thus ending his European tour during which he participated in the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the leaders of the Alliance showed their support for Ukraine.

Joe Biden will take part in a summit between the United States and the Nordic countries alongside the leaders of Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway.

He will also hold a press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto before returning to Washington.

Turning the page on decades of neutrality forced by Moscow after the Second World War and then of military non-alignment since the end of the Cold War, Finland operated last year, after the launch of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, a safe turn by asking to join NATO, at the same time as Sweden. It finally became on April 4 the 31st member of the Atlantic Alliance, a setback for Moscow.

This country, which shares a border with Russia more than 1,300 kilometers long, was until the invasion of Ukraine an advocate of dialogue between Westerners and Russia.

A posture which had materialized in 2018 by a summit on its territory which brought together the American president at the time Donald Trump and his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Read alsoMembership of NATO: the “feeling of increased vulnerability” tipped Finland

US-Nordic Cooperation

Thursday’s discussions should focus on “cooperation between the Nordic countries and the United States on security, environment and technology issues”, according to the Finnish presidency.

A White House official said Joe Biden would welcome Finland’s entry into the alliance. The US president is also expected to discuss climate change and new technologies.

This visit is the last leg of Joe Biden’s European tour, after a visit to London and the NATO summit in Vilnius largely devoted to the war in Ukraine.

The West presented on Wednesday a plan of long-term commitments for the security of Ukraine, on the second day of a summit which dashed the hopes of President Volodymyr Zelensky to obtain a precise timetable for the integration of his country into the Alliance.

The summit also saw progress towards membership for Sweden, which applied alongside Finland in May 2022.

With AFP

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