WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after the Senate voted to ratify the accession protocols for Finland and Sweden to join NATO:
“Today’s ratification of Finland and Sweden as new members of NATO sends a strong message of transatlantic unity and U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance. Both Finland and Sweden have strong and capable militaries, and their membership in NATO will further deter any temptation by Russia to engage in military adventurism in the Baltic or Arctic regions.
“Now its up to the rest of our NATO allies to move expeditiously to ratify their accession protocols so Finland and Sweden can officially join the alliance. Time is of the essence as Putin attempts to rewrite the security landscape in Europe with his brutal invasion of Ukraine. Moving quickly to strengthen and expand NATO will demonstrate our firm commitment to defending democracy. I look forward to welcoming Sweden and Finland as full members of NATO shortly.”
On May 23, 2022, Risch led Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) in introducing a resolution (S.Res.646) in support of Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO. On June 9, 2022, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the resolution.