Shaheen & Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Resolution in Support of Finland, Sweden Joining NATO

May 23, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, introduced a resolution with SFRC Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID) and Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ), as well as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Coons (D-DE) last Thursday in support of Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO.

“As the Ukrainian people fight for their lives and freedom, Finland and Sweden’s commitment to join the transatlantic alliance at this pivotal time matters not just for Ukraine, but for Europe, global stability and the future of liberal democracies around the world. As co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, I’m proud of the continued bipartisan efforts in Congress to ensure that Senate support for NATO remains strong, especially amid Putin’s unprovoked, bloody invasion of Ukraine,” said Senator Shaheen. “This new bipartisan resolution builds on that progress and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to ratify Sweden and Finland’s accession into NATO as soon as possible, and I encourage other NATO allies to do the same.”

This resolution:

·        Welcomes and supports Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO;

·        Acknowledges that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dramatically changed the security situation in Europe, and the reform and expansion of NATO is key to ensuring a safe and prosperous future for the United States and critical allies and partners;

·        Recognizes that Finland and Sweden have surpassed the qualifications expected of prospective members, and that both countries have much to contribute and gain from NATO membership;

·        Reaffirms support for NATO’s collective security commitment and for maximizing our allies’ combined defense capabilities through NATO coordination and cooperation;

·        Calls on the Biden administration to move expeditiously to complete all documents and reports needed to support the Senate’s approval of the accession protocols; and

·        Calls on all NATO members to move rapidly to complete their ratification process.

Text of the resolution can be found here.

Shaheen, a member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, 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 recently led a bipartisan congressional delegation with Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) to the Balkans to convey continued U.S. support for its allies amid Russian aggression against Ukraine and the implications for European security in the region. In addition, legislation co-led by Shaheen to speed up military assistance to Ukraine and Eastern European nations was recently signed into law. In February, Shaheen led a successful bipartisan effort with Portman to pass a resolution that conveys a renewed and overwhelmingly bipartisan message from the U.S. Senate in fierce support of Ukraine. Earlier this year, Shaheen and Portman led a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine, where they met with President Zelenskyy and members of his administration. Before the Shaheen-Portman congressional delegation visit to Ukraine in January, Shaheen led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, last June. Earlier this month, Shaheen led a bipartisan resolution with Senators Johnson, Menendez and Jim Risch commending Moldova for its extraordinary efforts to aid Ukrainian refugees and to express support for its sovereignty and ongoing pro-democratic reforms.

Next month, Shaheen will lead a bipartisan congressional delegation with Senate NATO Observer Group co-chair Thom Tillis (R-NC) to the NATO Summit in Spain.

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