The US Senate voted to admit Finland and Sweden to NATO by a vote of 95 to one in Wednesday’s session, with one senator voting “present” and three abstaining from the vote.
Ratification requires that at least two-thirds of the Senate, or 67 senators, had to vote for it.
"Welcoming Sweden and Finland to NATO is a sign of the United States’ continued commitment to peace, stability and democracy in Europe and throughout the world." said the senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in his opening remarks Wednesday afternoon.
His voice was joined by a chorus of senators, most of whom reiterated the importance of strengthening the transatlantic alliance by including Finland and Sweden on the basis of their strategic, economic and military contributions.
The main feeling in the US Senate was that Finland and Sweden joining NATO was a natural response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the changed security environment in Europe.
After hours of discussion, with references to the winter war, the capabilities of the Finnish Defense Forces and the senator Tom Carper Recalling the story of the first Finnish and Swedish settlers who arrived in New Sweden in what is now the state of Delaware, the Senate voted strongly for the union of Finland and Sweden.
It was a rare bipartisan moment, with Democrats and Republicans voting overwhelmingly in favor of Nordic accession, with a few exceptions.
Senator Josh HawleyA Republican from Missouri, the lone dissenting voice on the issue came as a surprise when he voted for North Macedonia to join NATO in 2019.
Not on Hawley’s side, but a fellow senator from his party stood neutral Rand Paulthe historic Nato skeptic who ultimately voted “present” will not vote for or against NATO expansion.
Although Paul had introduced an amendment to the ballot that would have added additional congressional oversight in the event that Article 5 of the NATO treaty was invoked to lead the United States to war, the amendment was shot down.
However, the Alaska senator’s revision Dan Sullivananother Republican, was passed that called on all current and future NATO member countries participating in the alliance to spend at least two percent of their gross domestic product on military spending.
Sullivan and countless other senators pointed out that while Finland already met and exceeded this requirement, it was aimed at current NATO members to strengthen the alliance.
Other countries also ratified
The United States was not the only country to ratify Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO applications, as Italy and France also supported the Nordic countries this week.
Italy supported the decision in the Italian Senate with votes 202-13, while the French National Assembly voted 209-46 against the admission of the Nordic countries.
Despite the Italian rogue governor’s rhetoric that Italy had to stop Finland’s bid to join NATO due to the transfer of Wärtsilä production from the Italian city of Trieste to Finland, the ratification of Finland’s accession was overwhelming.
Now 23 of the 30 legislators of NATO member countries have given Finland and Sweden the green light to join the alliance.
Seven more to go, and the biggest question mark remains Turkey. Despite the fact that in June at the summit in Madrid it was agreed to support Finland and Sweden, the president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will freeze the Nordic countries’ offers if Ankara’s promises are not fulfilled, According to Reuters.
Source: The Nordic Page