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Ahead of Next Month’s NATO Summit in Washington, Shaheen Joined Bipartisan Panel at Hudson Institute to Talk About the Future of the Alliance, Ukraine and More

Watch the discussion in full here.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), co-chairs of the bipartisan U.S. Senate NATO Observer Group, participated in an event hosted by the Hudson Institute to discuss the future of NATO ahead of next month’s Washington Summit, which will mark the 75th anniversary of the Alliance. Among other topics discussed during this event was Ukraine’s path toward NATO membership, security challenges in the Black Sea region and the importance of burden sharing amongst alliance members. Earlier this week, Shaheen and Tillis metwith NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Washington, DC.

  • “Anything we can do to try and reassure, not just Ukraine but our other allies, and point out to our adversaries that we're going to be there to support Ukraine in this war is really important. And that's part of what that bilateral security agreement is all about.” 
  • “Right now, the courageous Ukrainians are fighting that war. I want to support them in every way I can so that they defeat Putin, so we don't have to send American soldiers over to fight against Putin because if he's successful in Ukraine [he could take] on other NATO countries.”
  • “We're in this fight around the world for those countries who want to see control over their own destinies, who want to see their people free, who want free economies, who want to be able to travel in territorial waters without being deterred, without having China block them. So, we've got to continue this fight globally.”
  • “Legislation that Senator Romney and I worked on is all about coming up with a strategy to better support the countries in the Black Sea region. A number of them are aspiring democracies and we have some countries like Georgia that have been aspiring democracies where the people of Georgia are looking west, they want to join the EU, they want to become members of NATO. And yet we've got a leadership in Georgia that has been more and more trending towards autocracy.”

As co-chairs of the U.S. Senate NATO Observer Group, which they re-started together in 2018, Shaheen and Tillis led bipartisan efforts in the Senate in support of the transatlantic Alliance. Last month, the Senators penned an op-ed calling for a recommitment to strengthening NATO on the 80th Anniversary of D-day. In April, the Senators sent a bipartisan letter to President Biden outlining key objectives and priorities for the upcoming NATO Summit, which will take place in July in Washington, DC. The Senators have pushed Allies to reach the two percent defense spending that was agreed to by NATO and have been outspoken in their support to grow the Alliance, recently applauding ratification by Türkiye’s Parliament of Sweden’s NATO accession protocols and leading a resolution criticizing Hungary’s previous delay in ratifying Sweden’s accession.

As Chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee that oversees U.S. policy towards Europe, Shaheen is a leading policymaker on efforts in defense of democracies around the globe amid Putin’s efforts to destabilize the continent. Last year, Shaheen reintroduced her bipartisan legislation that would direct the administration to develop a strategy toward the Black Sea region, which has increasingly become a critical inflection point for European and global security. Earlier this year, Shaheen introduced a bill that would hold Georgian government officials and individuals responsible for corruption, human rights abuses and efforts to advance the foreign agents law or facilitate its passage. The Committee-passed National Defense Authorization Act for FY2025 includes a provision led by Shaheen that would require the Secretary of Defense to review U.S. security cooperation with Georgia in light of its foreign agents law, as well as additional flexibility to provide security assistance to Ukraine.