August 15, 2022
Massive vote in Senate to allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO

Washington – Senate voted 95-1 to ratify Wednesday NATO membership for Finland and SwedenWith overwhelming bipartisan support expected for a rapid expansion of the Western military alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,

The only no vote was Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. Rand Paul, a fellow Republican from Kentucky, voted.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who visited Kyiv and the region earlier this year, urged unanimous approval. Speaking from the Senate floor, McConnell cited the well-funded, modernizing armies of the two Nordic countries and his experience working with the US military and weapons systems, describing it as a “strength to national security” of the United States. Slam-dunk”.

“His joining will make NATO stronger and America more secure,” said the Senate Republican leader. If any senator is looking for a defense excuse to vote Na, I wish them all the best.

Belgium NATO Finland Sweden
Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Havisto, left, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend a media conference after the signing of the NATO Accession Protocol for Finland and Sweden at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday, 5 July. 2022.

Olivier Mathis / AP

after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer It tweeted that Sweden and Finland’s “membership will strengthen NATO. It will advance the cause of democracy. And this is even more urgent given Putin’s barbaric, immoral and unfair war in Ukraine.”

Senators invited the countries’ ambassadors to watch the debate and vote, which would open a new era for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. President Biden has called for quick access to two former non-militarily aligned Northern European allies, and the ratification proposal’s approval has huge bipartisan support in Congress.

“Our NATO alliance is the foundation that has guaranteed democracy in the Western world since the end of World War II,” Schumer said before the vote.

Schumer said he and McConnell had committed to the country’s leaders that the Senate would approve a ratification motion “as soon as possible” to strengthen the coalition “in light of the recent Russian aggression.”

The vote took place in the late afternoon after a debate on the measure and various amendments. An amendment to Paul ensured that NATO guarantees to protect its members did not replace the formal role of Congress in authorizing the use of military force. Another of Alaska’s Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan declared that all NATO members should spend a minimum of 2% of their GDP on defense and 20% of their defense budget “including key equipment, research and development”.

The 30 NATO member states are in the process of taking additional considerations after Sweden and Finland parted ways with their long-standing stance of military non-alignment. It was a major change in security arrangements for the two countries after neighboring Russia launched a war against Ukraine earlier this year.

The US and its European allies have rallied with new partnerships to counter the aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin, strengthening the NATO alliance formed for the first time since World War II.

Mr Biden sent the protocol to the Senate for review in July, starting a particularly rapid process in a generally divided and slow-moving chamber.

Each member country in NATO is required to approve the admission of new members. The process ran into trouble after Turkey raised concerns over annexing Sweden and Finland, as it considers both countries soft on banned Turkish Kurdish exile groups. But despite those initial reservations, the process has continued to move forward.

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