Senate votes 95 to 1 in favour of Finland and Sweden joining NATO, making the US the 23rd of the 30 member states to approve.
The US Senate has ratified Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO, the most significant expansion of the 30-member alliance since the 1990s amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Senate voted 95 to 1 in favour of the two Nordic countries’ accession on Wednesday, making the United States the 23rd of the 30 NATO countries to formally endorse it so far, after Italy approved it earlier in the day and France on Tuesday.
“This historic vote sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan US commitment to NATO, and to ensuring our alliance is prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” Biden said in a statement.
President Joe Biden hailed the Senate’s quick ratification process – the fastest since 1981.
Senators from both parties strongly endorsed membership for the two countries, describing them as important allies whose modern militaries already worked closely with NATO.
“The qualifications of these two prosperous, democratic nations are outstanding and will serve to strengthen the NATO alliance,” said Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, urging support before the vote.