The US Senate approves NATO membership in Finland, Sweden

The US Senate approves NATO membership in Finland, Sweden

Washington DC [US]August 4 (ANI): Amid threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin that Sweden and Finland would face unspecified retaliation if they joined NATO, the US Senate on Wednesday (local time) approved both countries’ applications to join the alliance.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve a treaty that would expand NATO to include Finland and Sweden. However, accession will only take place according to the collective will of all 30 member states as all decisions are made by consensus.

Therefore, all 30 current members of the alliance must ratify the accession of the two countries. Twenty-two countries have already done so, the New York Times reported.

The senators voted 95-1. Only Sen. Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, voted no. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, was present. The bipartisan support was evident as the figure far exceeded the two-thirds support necessary to approve the treaty.

Earlier, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) 30 allies signed the Accession Protocol for Sweden and Finland, setting in motion the process of admitting the two Nordic countries into the alliance.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde participated in the signing. “With 32 nations around the table, we will be even stronger and our people will be even safer, as we face the biggest security crisis in decades.” declared NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference after the signing.

NATO’s 30 members formally invited Finland and Sweden to join their alliance at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, just seven weeks after both countries submitted their applications in response to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The accession process was initially blocked by Turkey, a NATO member that raised concerns over the fight against terrorism, but after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Finland and Sweden, Turkey lifted its veto ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid.

The next step was for the parliaments of all 30 NATO members to ratify Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO, according to their own national procedures. The US has approved Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO and now time will tell if the same land is held by all other countries. (ANI)


Related Posts: