US President Joe Biden has approved the accession of Finland and Sweden to the US-led, nuclear-armed North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The two countries applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, which Biden expressed before signing his country’s accession protocol by saying: “When Putin’s Russia violated peace and security in Europe When tyrants challenge the foundations of a rules-based order, the power of the Atlantic Alliance and America’s commitment to NATO matter more than ever.”
Biden’s signing comes after the US Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure by a 95-to-1 vote, in favor of the two countries joining together.
The signing makes Washington the 23rd of 30 countries to formally join the alliance, marking the largest expansion of the 30-member alliance since the 1990s.
It should be noted that NATO members signed the accession protocol for Sweden and Finland last month, allowing them to join the alliance once member states ratify the decision.
Despite the aforementioned signature, the countries will not be protected under the Defense Clause until the accession is ratified by the parliaments of all NATO member states.
The Defense Clause states that an attack on one country in an alliance is an attack on all members.
Moscow has previously warned the two mentioned countries repeatedly not to join NATO.