In a major development on the international front, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of Sweden and Finland entering NATO. The vote, which was almost fully bipartisan, referred to the continued expansion of the defense bloc for the Western world to be a “slam-dunk” for U.S. national security interests.
The final vote was 95-1, favoring the addition of both Scandinavian nations.
Senator Chuck Schumer invited ambassadors from each nation to sit within the chamber gallery in order to witness the vote.
The agreement for Sweden and Finland to join NATO fulfills one of President Joe Biden’s objectives, which included accelerating the entry of the two nations into the defensive bloc as soon as possible.
To formalize the entry of the Northern European nations into NATO, all member nations must indicate their approval. Currently, NATO has 30 members, all of whom must approve the addition of new members.
The rapid admission of Sweden and Finland into NATO is meant to send a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“It sends a warning shot to tyrants around the world who believe free democracies are just up for grabs,” Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar said empathically.
The senator also added that Russia’s invasion has caused the United States to rethink “the way we think about world security.”
Senator Mitch McConnell, who currently serves as the Senate Minority Leader, has openly concurred with Republican and Democrat senators alike.
“[Sweden and Finland’s] accession will make NATO stronger and America more secure,” McConnell proclaimed, “if any senator is looking for a defensible excuse to vote no, I wish them good luck.”
Putin has significantly inflamed tensions with his brutal invasion of Ukraine, which has triggered the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II as millions of Ukrainians have fled their homeland
The crisis has also sent costs, especially energy costs, escalating across the globe as Western sanctions send the cost of gas and fuel soaring.