Biden arrives in Finland after NATO summit


President Joe Biden is in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, showing the country that NATO views as representing a revitalized and expanding alliance in the face of Russian aggression.

Biden just attended a high-profile NATO summit in nearby Lithuania, where much of the focus was on Ukraine’s path to membership. However, the United States and its allies touted Finland’s becoming the newest member of the defense alliance as one of the most important achievements of the meeting.

The country shares an 830-mile border with Russia and until recently had relatively cordial relations with Moscow. But it applied for NATO membership shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine last year.

On Wednesday night, Biden vowed that Western partners would not back down from defending Ukraine despite failing to agree on a path or timetable for it to become a NATO member, which Kiev desperately wants. At the end of the summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Biden said that “the defense of freedom is not the work of a day or a year. It is the call of our life, of all time”.

What to know about Biden’s trip to Finland

  • President Biden will meet with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, and leaders of other Nordic nations, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.
  • Biden is scheduled to hold a joint press conference with Niinistö at 12:40 p.m. ET before leaving the country.
  • The president arrived in Helsinki after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the NATO summit outcome «a significant security victory» for his country, but nevertheless expressed disappointment that Kiev did not receive a direct invitation to join the alliance.

Erdogan expects NATO allies to lift restrictions on arms sales

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has been quoted as saying he hopes NATO allies will lift sanctions and restrictions on the country’s defense industry.

Turkish ministers will hold further talks with their US counterparts on the sale of F-16 fighter jets, Erdogan told reporters on a flight back from the NATO summit in Lithuania.

Erdogan also said that the European Union leaders he met with had a positive stance on reviving Turkey’s membership bid.

«After the positive steps we see from the EU, we will start working on the implementation of the promises we have made,» Erdogan said, days after he unexpectedly agreed to send Sweden’s offer to join the alliance to parliament.

Photo: The coast guard patrols the port of Helsinki before the visit

Visit to Finland Biden
Coast Guardsmen secure the port ahead of President Joe Biden’s arrival on Thursday.Alessandro Rampazzo / AFP – Getty Images

The latest news of the war in Ukraine

Ukraine shot down about 20 Iranian-made Russian drones overnight, but shrapnel rained down on the capital kyiv, injuring two people and destroying houses, authorities said. The latest attack began after midnight.

The Ukrainian military said it also intercepted two Russian cruise missiles. The statement said a ballistic missile was not intercepted, though it did not explain what damage the missile caused.

The government of the Khmelnytskyi region in western Ukraine reported that a cruise missile was intercepted over the region and no casualties were reported. “We appreciate the meticulous work of the Ukrainian air defense forces,” the regional administration wrote on Telegram.

Photo: Presidential arrives in Helsinki

Biden in Finland
President Biden lands in Helsinki on Wednesday.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP – Getty Images

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