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Biden Credited With Helping Sweden Gain NATO Membership In Further Blow To Putin

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden and his administration celebrated Sweden’s admission into NATO. Biden has been widely credited with facilitating the expansion of the bloc.

Sweden’s entry comes 14 months after applying to the alliance. The request was being blocked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who agreed to Sweden’s ascension after the country changed its laws on burning the Koran and restarted arms exports to Turkey.

Erdogan’s move will come as a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Sweden will greatly expand NATO territory and strengthen the bloc, disrupting Russia’s efforts to weaken the alliance.

Former Deputy Director of National Intelligence Beth Saner said in an interview with CNN on Monday that Erdogan had been “playing his hand too hard,” and is now seeking to boost his reputation.

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“I think he really wants to be seen by NATO as the person who comes in and saves the day, not as the spoiler,” said Saner. “He started looking like the spoiler and I think he had to back off.”

Those in attendance at the NATO summit In Lithuania, which began on Tuesday, are now setting their sights on another feat: to induct Ukraine into the organization.

Ukraine has been calling on NATO’s help since Russia’s invasion of its territory in February 2022. Many officials, including Biden, do not believe that Ukraine is “ready for membership in NATO.”

“I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war,” said Biden during an interview on Sunday.

The Biden administration has voiced support for Ukraine’s eventual NATO membership.

“Ukraine has made good progress in that direction, and that’s going to be reflected at the summit,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday. “At the same time, the Ukranians and others are the first to acknowledge that they have more work to do — continuing to reform their military, continuing to deepen democratic reforms.”

The Biden administration is currently focusing on helping Ukraine on the battlefield. Last week, Biden announced his controversial decision to provide Ukrainian troops with cluster munitions, arguing that the weapon is necessary for the country’s victory in the ongoing war with Russia.

Biden began his European tour on Monday with a visit to the U.K., where he met with the Prime Minister and the King before flying to Lithuania for the summit.

Ava Lombardi

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