Portraying himself as facing a pivotal moment in world history, President Biden vowed to defend “every inch” of the alliance’s territory during a visit to Finland on Thursday, capping a European tour that has demonstrated the alliance’s renewed vigor since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
From a key meeting of NATO leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania, Mr. Biden arrived, where leaders worked hard to show solidarity in support of Ukraine. In a press conference with President of Finland Sauli Niinisto, Mr. Biden described the current moment as “an inflection point” in which “the decisions we make now will determine the course of history for the next four, five, six decades.”
“At this critical moment in history, this inflection point, the world is watching, will we do the hard work that matters to create a better future? Will we stand together, will we stand with each other? Will we stay true to our course?” Mr. Biden said.
Finland’s entry into NATO was approved by Russian President Vladimir V. A strong rebuke to Putin, who has cited the eastward expansion of the Mutual-Defense Alliance as a reason for launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Mr. Biden assured his Finnish counterpart that “as your ally, we want the people of Finland to know that America is committed to Finland, committed to NATO.”
“We will defend every inch of NATO territory, and that includes Finland,” he said.
Ukraine is also seeking to join NATO. At the summit in Vilnius, NATO member states made their strongest pledges that Ukraine would become a member, although they did not provide a framework for when and how that would happen.
For the first time, Mr. “If I were him, I’d be careful about what he ate,” she said.
Asked by a reporter about the administration’s efforts to free Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal told the reporter that the United States was “wrongfully detained.” He said he was serious about negotiating a prisoner exchange. Biden said.
“I am serious about doing everything we can to free Americans illegally detained in Russia — or anywhere else,” he said. “That process is ongoing.”
Last week, the US confirmed it was in talks with Russia about a possible transfer, but warned that the discussions had not yet produced “a clear path to a resolution”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry S. It came after Peskov said the two countries were in contact about a possible transfer.
Before attending a summit with other Nordic leaders, including the prime ministers of Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, Mr. Mr. Biden Negotiated with Niinisto. Mr. He was expected to return to Washington later Thursday after a final news conference with Niinisto.
Earlier this week, Turkey dropped its objections to Sweden joining NATO, raising hopes for the country’s speedy accession. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, later made it clear that the required vote in the Turkish parliament was unlikely to happen before October. He said Sweden still needs to take steps to win a majority in lawmakers and there may be other hurdles before a deal can be done.
Finland and Sweden jointly asked to join the military alliance last year in the face of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. However, Turkey halted the process, arguing that Sweden harbors Kurdish fighters and others it considers terrorists. Finland continued its efforts to become independent, and was able to join NATO in April.
David E. Sanger And Gabriela Cha Pessoa Contributed report.
— Johanna Lemola And James C. McKinley Jr