Schumer, McConnell pressing administration to rush paperwork on Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plan to present a resolution that will press the Biden administration to rush the paperwork for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
In the resolution text, first obtained by Politico, both Senate leaders note the roles played by the Nordic countries in organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union, and their neutral stance on matters pertaining to Europe as reasons why they should join the alliance.
The resolution calls on President Biden to move swiftly to complete all necessary documents involving both countries’ NATO membership so the Senate can advance the measure, also calling on fellow NATO members to swiftly complete their own ratification processes.
It is being submitted by McConnell and Schumer along with a number of leading Senate voices on Ukraine aid, including Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).
“NATO has been the cornerstone of Western defense since World War II, and President Niinistö of Finland and Prime Minister Andersson of Sweden are showing strong leadership in joining the United States and its allies against Putin’s deeply immoral campaign of violence,” Schumer said in a statement Monday.
“As the world’s democracies unite against Putin and his crony oligarchs, Finland and Sweden’s ascension into NATO will be a further rebuke of Putin’s murderous attack on Ukraine.”
McConnell said in the statement that “Finland and Sweden are strong countries with formidable military capabilities that surpass many existing NATO allies.”
“Both nations’ robust defense funding means their accession would meaningfully bolster our pursuit of greater burden-sharing across the alliance,” he added.
Biden met with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson last week in a public show of support for expanding the security alliance, which has been bolstered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Both countries submitted their formal request to join the military alliance on Wednesday.
“Sweden and Finland have strong democratic institutions, strong militaries, and strong and transparent economies, and a strong and moral sense of what is right,” Biden said on Thursday. “They meet every NATO requirement and then some.”
Both Niinistö and Andersson also met with U.S lawmakers during their visit, urging Congress to vote on and ratify their entry into the alliance.
“This is historic for U.S.-#Finland-#Sweden relations,” tweeted Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho.), the Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking member. “#NATO is soon to be stronger and better than ever before.”
The resolution will be marked up by the Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, Politico reported.
Updated: 10:53 a.m.
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