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US Senate approves NATO membership for Finland, Sweden

04.08.2022 09:00
Finland and Sweden have moved closer to joining NATO after the US Senate on Wednesday approved the two Nordic states' accession to the Western military alliance.
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"This historic vote sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan U.S. commitment to NATO, and to ensuring our Alliance is prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow," US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

"I look forward to signing the accession protocols and welcoming Sweden and Finland, two strong democracies with highly capable militaries, into the greatest defensive alliance in history," he added.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda last month signed legislation to ratify the expansion of NATO to include Finland and Sweden in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

"Today is a very important day for NATO, for our part of Europe, for the Baltic Sea region and for the security of this part of the world," Duda said at the time during high-profile ceremony in the Baltic port city of Gdynia.

He added that the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO was also important "for future generations" of Europeans.

The Polish president has previously said that NATO’s invitation for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance was “a historic decision.”

NATO's 30 allies on July 5 signed accession protocols for Finland and Sweden to join the Western military alliance, a move that still needs to be ratified by member states.

Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said last month that the accession of Finland and Sweden would “strengthen NATO significantly.”

In an interview with public broadcaster Polish Radio, Błaszczak added: “It’s very advantageous for Poland’s security because it alters the situation in the Baltic Sea region.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declared in May that Poland would come to the aid of Finland and Sweden if the two countries were attacked by Russia before formally securing NATO membership.

More than 20 NATO members have already ratified Finland and Sweden's NATO entry, Polish state news agency PAP reported on Thursday.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, whitehouse.gov