WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released this statement after they met with the ambassadors from NATO member countries in the U.S. Capitol.
“It was a pleasure to host the ambassadors from NATO member countries to discuss the important and enduring role of this alliance. As we discussed in the meeting, this alliance is rooted the shared values that unite our nations including democracy, the rule of law and basic freedoms. At the July Summit in Vilnius, we were pleased to see that the alliance identified both Russia and China as major challenges. We hope to see further development of a strategy to effectively counter China that recognizes that China’s and Russia’s partnership presents a serious threat to our security and basic way of life. The vital contributions most NATO members have made to the defense of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s unwarranted aggression are a testament to the clarity of purpose of this Alliance and the resolve we share.
“We both strongly believe that NATO is the most successful political-military alliance in the history of the world. However, there are always ways we can improve our collective security. For NATO to be ready to face the challenges of tomorrow, each member must fulfill its pledge to spend 2% GDP on meaningful, forward-looking improvements to its defense.
“Ahead of the NATO Summit that the United States will host in Washington, D.C. next summer, we must continue our robust discussion of Ukraine’s future in NATO. We are glad we have officially welcomed Finland as a member of NATO and look forward to welcoming Sweden as soon as possible.”