WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement regarding Finland's and Sweden’s official letters of application to join NATO:
“I have for several weeks now been strongly urging Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership, and I welcome and wholeheartedly support their decision to do so. Our Nordic neighbors have long-proven the value they will bring to the alliance through their professional militaries, sophisticated defense industries, and resilient political systems which are based on our shared values. Bringing these two nations into the strongest and most successful political-military alliance in history sends a strong signal to our allies and enemies alike that NATO will continue to fill a critical role in the future of transatlantic security. I am confident that Sweden and Finland will be net security contributors to the alliance.
“Putin’s brutal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has unified the NATO alliance in ways we haven’t seen since the Cold War. It is now imperative we build off that momentum and move quickly to approve the accession of Finland and Sweden to strengthen the alliance and deter any further provocation from Russia. I stand ready to work with Chairman Menendez to fully and thoroughly execute our committee’s responsibilities related to moving the accession protocols and a resolution of ratification through the Senate expeditiously.”