U.S. Senate backs Finland and Sweden for NATO

U.S. Senators delivered overwhelming bipartisan approval in a 95-1 vote to NATO membership for two Western European nations, Finland and Sweden Wednesday.

 The two countries had avoided military alliances until Russia invaded Ukraine. It took a crucial step toward the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its 73-year-old pact of mutual defense among the United States and democratic allies in Europe.

 “This historic vote sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan U.S. commitment to NATO, and to ensuring our Alliance is prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” President Biden said. “I look forward to signing the accession protocols and welcoming Sweden and Finland, two strong democracies with highly capable militaries, into the greatest defensive alliance in history,” he added.

 Final membership in NATO requires the approval of all member states. The candidacies of the two prosperous Northern European nations have been ratified by more than half (currently 30) of NATO members in about three months since the two applied. It’s a purposely rapid pace meant to send a message to Russia – Liberal democracy is inalienable.

 It is a major breakthrough in national security for the United States. Their participation will make NATO stronger and America safer.

 Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, cast the only disapproval vote, citing a distraction from China by the European security alliances. He said that America’s chief rival is China, not Russia.

 The process has encountered unexpected troubles, with Turkey expressing concerns over adding Sweden and Finland, accusing the two countries of being soft on the banned Turkish Kurdish exile groups. Turkey’s opposition still threatens the membership of both countries.

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Translator: MOS Translation Team
Design&editor: HBamboo(昆仑竹)

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