Shaheen, Tillis Announce Senate NATO Observer Group Expansion

April 05, 2022

**Shaheen and Tillis re-established the group in 2018 and currently serve as co-chairs**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) – Co-Chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group – announced three new members of the group today: U.S. Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Jerry Moran (R-KS). Shaheen and Tillis re-established the Senate NATO Observer Group in 2018 with an expanded mission to closely monitor and inform Senators outside of national security committees about defense spending commitments of Alliance members, the process of upgrading military capabilities, the Alliance’s counter-terrorism capability, NATO enlargement and the ability of NATO member states to address non-conventional warfare. The Senate NATO Observer Group currently includes 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans. Shaheen and Tillis recently issued a joint bipartisan statement marking the fourth anniversary of the group.

“The strength and resilience of the transatlantic alliance has never been as critical as it is today amid Putin’s war in Ukraine. The close coordination among NATO nations has been pivotal to increasing military assistance and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and imposing historic punitive measures against Putin for his unprovoked invasion and barbaric war crimes against the Ukrainian people,” said Senator Shaheen. “Senator Tillis and I re-established the Senate NATO Observer Group four years ago as we observed the increasing belligerence of Russia and other adversarial regimes that pose a threat to U.S. security and our global stability. I’m encouraged to see our effort strengthened by this new expansion to include Senators Hagerty, Rosen and Moran, reaffirming the robust bipartisan support in the Senate for NATO and the U.S.’ commitment to the transatlantic alliance.”

“The last few months have shown the importance of unequivocal U.S. support for NATO and unity among our transatlantic allies as Russia continues its unprovoked invasion and atrocities against Ukraine. Congress will continue to play a vital role in ensuring we stand together against Putin’s invasion and any attack on our democratic allies,” said Senator Tillis. “I want to welcome Senators Hagerty, Rosen, and Moran to the Senate NATO Observer Group. I am proud to co-lead this important coalition with Senator Shaheen, and the addition of these members, bringing the total to 14 senators, only strengthens our mission to advocate and demonstrate strong Congressional support for NATO.”

“I’m pleased to join the Senate NATO Observer Group, especially at a time when Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine poses wider risks to our NATO Allies,” said Senator Hagerty. “When I served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I raised America’s Alliance with Japan to new heights through strong and steady diplomacy, candid and continual engagement, and a thorough and sober understanding of the national security interests of the United States and our Allies and partners. As a U.S. Senator, I look forward to bringing that same tough-minded, America First approach to the Senate NATO Observer Group.”

“As Russia continues its brutal and horrific invasion of Ukraine, a strong and united NATO is vital to the security of the United States and our allies,” said Senator Rosen. “NATO is one of the most successful alliances in history and has been the bedrock of peace and security in Europe for over half a century. I am honored to be appointed to the Senate’s bipartisan NATO Observer Group to work alongside my colleagues to reaffirm the United States’ enduring commitment to NATO, assess the strength and capabilities of the Alliance, and coordinate the transatlantic response to Russian aggression. We will ensure that NATO has the resources needed to protect the United States and ensure the security of our allies.”

“As Russia’s unprovoked war with Ukraine threatens European stability, a unified NATO is essential to deterring further threats and preserving American peace and prosperity,” said Senator Moran. “Through my role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have regularly met with NATO military leaders stationed throughout Europe, and I am pleased to join the Senate NATO Observer Group to continue strengthening this transatlantic alliance. Through this bipartisan group, my colleagues and I will track the implementation of NATO initiatives, assess its military capabilities and review NATO defense spending to protect democracy and safeguard freedom for the U.S. and our NATO allies.”

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