Washington — the Senate was scheduled to ratify on 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,
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.
Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican who often aligns his positions with those of former President Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters, has said he plans to vote against both countries’ NATO membership. Hawley argues that the United States should focus not on Europe, but on Asia.
Senators have invited the ambassadors of the countries to watch the debate and vote, which will 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,” said New York Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
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.”
A late afternoon vote was expected after a debate on the measure and amendments. An amendment by GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky would ensure that NATO guarantees to protect its members do not replace Congress’s formal role in authorizing the use of military force. Another, Republican Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska, declared that all NATO members should spend a minimum of 2% of their GDP on defense and 20 percent of their defense budget on “key equipment, including 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 overhaul of 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.