Finnish and Swedish leaders visit Biden to discuss NATO expansion

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson arrived at the White House on Thursday to meet with President Biden on their bids to join the NATO alliance.

The three leaders were photographed walking down the Colonnade of the White House together before meetings in the West Wing.

Discussions are closed to the press, but Biden was scheduled to meet Niinistö and Andersson in the rose garden for statements to the press later in the morning.

The two long-standing neutrals applied to join NATO earlier this week in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he is opposed to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, which could shatter Nordic countries’ hopes of membership. As part of the enlargement process, all current members must agree to the addition of new states to the 30-strong bloc.

President Joe Biden walks with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (right) and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (left) as they arrive at the White House in Washington Thursday, May 19, 2022.
President Biden walks with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto as they arrive at the White House on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
President Joe Biden (C) walks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (L) and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson along the colonnade of the Rose Garden for a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House May 19, 2022 in Washington, DC.
President Biden was scheduled to receive Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in the rose garden for statements to the press later in the morning.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Joe Biden greets Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto upon their arrival at the White House in Washington on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO earlier this week in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Biden on Wednesday dismissed Erdogan’s objection based on Stockholm and Helsinki’s alleged friendliness towards Kurdish activists, saying “I think we’ll be fine.”

This is an evolving story.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/19/finnish-swedish-leaders-visit-biden-to-talk-nato-expansion/ Finnish and Swedish leaders visit Biden to discuss NATO expansion

JACLYN DIAZ

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