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Senate committee passes resolution supporting Finland, Sweden joining NATO

Senate committee passes resolution supporting Finland, Sweden joining NATO
U.S. President Joe Biden (C), Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden (L) and President Sauli Niinistš of Finland arrive for a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 19. On Thursday, the Senate committee on foreign relations approved a measure supporting to the two Nordic nations joining NATO. File Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

June 10 (UPI) -- The Senate committee on foreign relations has passed a bipartisan resolution supporting Finland and Sweden joining NATO amid Russia's ongoing aggression in Europe.

The committee passed the resolution Thursday, which, along with supporting their accession to the pact, states both Nordic nations' qualifications surpass that which is expected of prospective members of the defensive military alliance and that they have much to add to it.

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It also calls on all 30 NATO members to expedite and complete the ratification process for both nations.

"The committee's passage of this resolution is a testament to the bipartisan support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO, and the urgency of strengthening the alliance amidst Russia's unprovoked and brutal invasion of Ukraine," Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, the committee's ranking member, said in a statement.

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"I've long said that Sweden's and Finland's strong political and military traditions make them a perfect fit for the alliance."

Finland and Sweden applied together to join NATO mid-May in response to Russia invading Ukraine on Feb. 24, which has dramatically altered the security situation in Europe.

Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have also sought to join the European Union in response.

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Russian President Vladimir has blamed the war on NATO's eastward expansion, and he has volleyed threats against Finland and Sweden for seeking to join the military pact.

Their applications, however, have been stalled by Turkey who accuses the nations of harboring members of the Kurdistan Worker's Party, which seeks independence from Ankara.

Unanimous consent of NATO's 30-member states is required to join the alliance.

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Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the committee's chairman, argued Thursday that the pair's accession would only strengthen NATO and revitalize "the backbone of our international security architecture in the face of Putin's aggression."

"With this bipartisan vote of confidence, we signal that we stand ready to take the necessary steps to facilitate their accession," he said.

The Biden administration has been a strong voice of support for the Nordic nations' bids.

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