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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

US: Senate approves Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – US senators on Wednesday almost unanimously approved Finland and Sweden to join NATO, describing the expansion of the Western defense bloc as a “victory” for US national security and Russian President Vladimir Tightened accounts against Putin. invasion of Ukraine.

The 95-1 vote in favor of the candidacy of the two Western European countries – which had avoided joining military alliances until the war in Ukraine – marks an important step in the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and their mutual defense agreement. between the United States and its democratic allies in Europe 73 years ago.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer invited ambassadors from both countries to the Senate Gallery to watch the vote.

President Joe Biden, who has been a key player in securing global economic and material support for Ukraine, has called for early NATO membership of two northern European countries that were previously unrelated to military alliances.

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For them to enter the military bloc, the approval of all member states is required, which currently number 30. The candidatures of these two prosperous northern European countries have received the ratification of more than half of NATO countries in the nearly three months since they applied to join. In the six months since it invaded Ukraine, the pace has been deliberately accelerated to send a message to Russia, whose government is trying to increase ties with the West.

“It sends a warning signal to tyrants around the world who believe that free democracies are simply at their behest,” Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said during a Senate debate before the vote.

“Russia’s unprovoked aggression has changed the way we think about security in the world,” he said.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who visited Kyiv this year, called for a unanimous vote. Speaking before the Senate, McConnell cited the well-funded and modernized armies of Finland and Sweden, and his experience working with the US military and weapons systems. He said the result was a “national security victory” for the United States.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley was the only one who voted against it. He told the Upper House that the European security alliance distracts from what he sees as America’s main rival: China, not Russia.

“We can do more in Europe … dedicate more resources, more military power … or do what we need to do to discourage Asia and China. We can’t do both,” Hawley said. Told.

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