I warmly welcome and strongly support the historic applications from Finland and Sweden for membership in NATO and look forward to working with the U.S. Congress and our NATO Allies to quickly bring Finland and Sweden into the strongest defensive alliance in history.
Sweden and Finland have made the important decision to seek NATO membership after thorough and inclusive democratic processes in each country. NATO guarantees the security of one billion people in Europe and North America-united by our shared commitment to democratic principles and our vision of peace and prosperity in Europe and around the world. And my commitment to NATO and Article 5 is ironclad.
Finland and Sweden are longtime, stalwart partners of the United States. By joining NATO, they will further strengthen our defense cooperation and benefit the entire Transatlantic Alliance. Together with our NATO Allies, the United States will maintain its robust exercise activity and presence in the Baltic Sea region. While their applications for NATO membership are being considered, the United States will work with Finland and Sweden to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security, and to deter and confront aggression or the threat of aggression.
I look forward to welcoming President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson to Washington tomorrow so that we can further consult on their NATO applications and European security.