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Senate NATO Observer Group Co-Chairs Issue Joint Statement as Protocols for Finland & Sweden’s Accession into NATO are Signed into Law

**Shaheen and Tillis are co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group and lead bipartisan action in the Senate in support of the transatlantic Alliance**

**The Senators led a bipartisan congressional delegation to the NATO Summit in Madrid**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, issued the following joint statement after President Joe Biden signed into law protocols for Finland and Sweden’s accession into NATO. Shaheen and Tillis lead action in the U.S. Senate in support of the transatlantic Alliance and previously lauded the Senate’s overwhelming approval for the accession protocols in the chamber last week. Shaheen and Tillis also serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Shaheen chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation. The Senators re-established the Senate NATO Observer Group in 2018

“The nearly unanimous support in the Senate for Finland and Sweden’s accession protocols made clear where the United States stands amid Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine and that our support for our partners against his belligerence is unwavering. The historic vote, and the President’s signature today, strengthen our global resolve against Putin and any adversary who attacks sovereign nations or threatens to destabilize our world order,” said the Senators. “NATO was established in the aftermath of two world wars to maintain our rules-based order. As the United States approves Finland and Sweden’s accession protocols, we are reaffirming the commitment made by the generation before us who rebuilt a world torn apart by the type of tyranny that is reemerging today. We’ll continue to work across the aisle in the Senate, with the administration and with Alliance members to uphold the tenets of the treaty signed more than seventy years ago. Today, the United States Senate sent a warning to other bad actors who seek a similar path as Putin that the Alliance will respond with strength and unity in the face of undemocratic actions.”  

As co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, the Senators recently led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to the NATO Summit in Spain, in addition to stops in Finland and Sweden in support of their NATO membership aspirations. In May, Shaheen and Tillis led a bipartisan coalition of 80 lawmakers in a joint statement of support and a letter to President Biden, calling for Finland and Sweden’s swift accession into NATO. Shaheen is also a member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus and leads action in the U.S. Senate in support of Ukraine in response to Vladimir Putin’s belligerence, which also threatens the stability and security of Eastern Europe and NATO allies. 

Shaheen and Tillis delivered remarks on the Senate floor last week with U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) on how critical Finland and Sweden’s NATO aspirations are to the Alliance in repudiation of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine. Shaheen and Tillis recently authored an op-ed in the New Atlanticist on the urgent need for the Senate to swiftly approve the NATO resolution protocols for Finland and Sweden’s accession – read it in full here.