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Ahead of NATO Summit, Shaheen-Tillis Lead Bipartisan Letter to President Biden Reaffirming Senate Support for the Alliance

**Shaheen & Tillis co-chair the Senate NATO Observer Group, which they re-established in 2018**

(Washington, DC) - Ahead of the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, led a letter to President Biden co-signed by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), reaffirming bipartisan Senate support for the Alliance and outlining the delegation’s vision for successful outcomes. 

The Senators wrote, in part, “The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia’s neighbors, and indeed the whole of Europe, will remain under threat by Vladimir Putin until Ukraine wins the war on its own terms. Recent developments in Russia highlight instability and growing signs of weakness within Russia’s institutions and its military, validating our shared conviction that Ukraine will win this war. Since the reestablishment of this group in 2018, the Senate NATO Observer Group has demonstrated to our allies and adversaries alike that Congress remains committed to the principles and values which underpin NATO and our collective security. This bipartisan group of Senators supports your efforts to maintain and strengthen transatlantic unity at this critical moment for the Alliance.” 

The Senators outlined a list of objectives, including: 

  • The creation of a realistic path towards NATO membership for Ukraine. The Senators also reaffirmed their support for the creation of a NATO-Ukraine Council, offering a formal mechanism for the Alliance’s coordination with Ukraine.  
  • Securing a firm commitment from Allies for an increase in defense spending to two percent, a metric only seven members of the Alliance have achieved.  
  • Working with Allies and with the leaders of Türkiye and Hungary to secure Sweden’s NATO membership. 
  • Recognition within NATO of the multidimensional challenges faced from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). 

The Senator’s letter can be read in full here

Joining Shaheen and Tillis at the NATO summit in Vilnius will be Senators Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Senator Angus King (I-ME). 

As co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, Shaheen has led bipartisan efforts in the Senate with Senator Tillis in support of the transatlantic Alliance, and specifically around Finland and Sweden's accession into NATO. Also a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen has led action to combat Vladimir Putin’s belligerence in Ukraine and across Eastern Europe. Shaheen, a member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, has led two bipartisan delegations to Ukraine and met with President Zelenskyy to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine. In addition, legislation co-led by Shaheen to speed up military assistance to Ukraine and Eastern European nations was signed into law last year. Shaheen and Tillis led the U.S. delegation to the NATO Summit in Madrid last year, and previously traveled together to the NATO Summit in Brussels in 2018. Last month, Shaheen led a congressional delegation to the Paris Air Show where they met with President Macron and discussed shared security challenges, specifically, Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine.