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What is the position of the USA and Biden on Finland joining NATO?

Finland has officially confirmed its intention to join NATO after the war in Ukraine caused a surge in support for the military alliance.

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Finland's President Sauli Niinisto attend a joint news conference on Finland's security policy decisions at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland.

Finland announced on Sunday that it is there intention to join NATO, despite calls from Russia to stay out of the military alliance.

“Finland is applying for NATO membership,” said the country’s president, Sauli Niinistö, at a press conference. “A protected Finland is being born as part of a stable, strong and responsible Nordic region. We gain security and we also share it. It’s good to keep in mind that security isn’t a zero-sum game.”

Finland shares an 810-mile, or 1,300km, border with their Russian neighbour but has long kept out of NATO due to its historical links with the Soviet Union, as well as previous treaties with the nuclear power which kept it out of the alliance. However, fears from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its justification for war has put the country on edge; Finland was a part of the Russian Empire until 1917.

The previously apathetic Finns have had a huge opinion change in regards to NATO. A poll conducted by Finnish state news Yle in March 2022 found 62 percent of respondents were in favour of joining the alliance, up from just 21 percent in 2017.

The prime minister, Sanna Marin, said the proposal would now be sent to parliament for ratification. “Our decision is historic,” she said. “As a member of NATO, we will also be responsible for the security of the alliance as a whole.”

While the majority of the alliance members are positive about Finland and Sweden’s accession to the alliance, a problem has arisen with Turkey. On Saturday the Turkish government voiced its concerns about the relationship between the Scandinavian countries and Turkey’s Kurdish minority, accusing the two of harbouring Kurdish independence fighters that are listed by the EU as terrorists.

What has the US said about Finland’s application?

The US is the strongest nation in NATO, due to its position as global hegemon. If it wants Finland in the alliance, in all liklihood it will happen and problems will be ironed out. Despite no statement from the US government at this stage, we can look at quotes from the Biden administration since the war in Ukraine started to ascertain their view.

Back in April, in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was supportive of a move to bring Finland and its neighbout Sweden into NATO.

“We, of course, look to them to make that decision. If that’s what they decide, we will strongly support it,” he told the committee.

President Biden also expressed his “full support for NATO’s Open Door policy and each country’s right to choose its security arrangements,” after a meeting with leaders on Friday.

Furthermore, the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has been positive in his comments on Sunday morning about Finland. He said Finland and Sweden would be “welcomed with open arms”.


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