On August 3, the U.S. Senate approved Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO, broadening the western military alliance in reaction to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan.
The Senate Votes
The Senate approved the passage of the two nations’ accession articles by a vote of 95-1. The majority of the chamber has to vote in favor of the ratification.
On July 11, Joe Biden sent the procedures for confirmation to the Senate for approval in an effort to expedite admission for the two nations.
Senator Josh Hawley abstained from the vote. Sen. Rand Paul neither supported nor opposed the passage; instead, he cast a “present” vote.
The embassies of Finland and Sweden were summoned to the House gallery to see the vote by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
To the dismay of Vladimir Putin, President Biden has successfully led the U.S. Senate to approve Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO.
That’s a Biden Win!
— Biden Wins (@BidensWins) August 3, 2022
“This is significant in substance and sends a message to Russia. They are powerless to frighten either America or Europe,” he declared on the floor of the Senate.
Finland and Sweden also already take part in NATO and operations that are headed by the United States, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
He said, “Sweden is investing considerable expenditures in upgrading its military and Finland already fulfills NATO’s budget objective.”
“Even with the abilities these forces now possess, they will increase burden sharing within the partnership and provide real, integrated military capabilities to the partnership on day one.”
“Furthermore, there is no doubt their arrival explicitly serves our interests. These nations have been American allies in defense for a long time.”
“Even greater collaboration with these countries will help us confront Russia and China,” McConnell continued. “With their inclusion, America will become stronger and safer.”
The World is Mobilizing For War
“Today’s decision to extend NATO gives a clear choice: either we invest more in Europe – more soldiers, more assets, more expenditure – or we concentrate on our top opponent, China,” said Hawley.
He opposes the confirmation and previously stated his reasons why in a message via Twitter on Aug. 3. Putin claims Russia has “no problems.”
WATCH: @HawleyMO's floor speech on his vote against NATO expansion.
"What am I arguing for is the return to a classic nationalist approach to foreign policy … grounded in our nation's interests and in the reality of the world as it is, not as we wish it was." pic.twitter.com/g0CzJXbejF
— Philip Letsou (@philipletsou) August 3, 2022
On June 29, Finland and Sweden were officially asked to join NATO when Turkey, a member of NATO, dropped its veto.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, stated Moscow has “no issue” with Helsinki and Stockholm entering NATO. He declared there are “no geographical disparities” between the two cities.
Though he warned if Russia felt threatened, it would take measures of any type.
The Russian president declared, “If NATO soldiers and equipment are placed, we will be forced to reply in kind and generate the same dangers for areas in which threats against us are made.”
“There were no issues between us, but there will undoubtedly be difficulties now,” he continued. “If there is a danger to us, I say, this is evident and unavoidable.”