Press Release

June 9, 2022
Cardin, Menendez, Risch, Colleagues Applaud Committee Passage of Resolution in Support of Finland, Sweden Joining NATO

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) today applauded committee passage of their resolution ( S.Res.646) in support of Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO. 

“The addition of Finland and Sweden to NATO will make the alliance stronger and will make these two stalwart democracies more secure,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan call for the other existing members of NATO to quickly ratify their accession.”

 “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,” said Ranking Member Risch. “I’ve long said that Sweden’s and Finland’s strong political and military traditions make them a perfect fit for the alliance. I hope the Senate will follow the committee’s lead and move quickly to pass this resolution.”

“I’m proud to see the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reaffirm in a Senate resolution our strong support for Finland’s and Sweden’s swift accession to NATO,” said Chairman Menendez. “A powerful alliance rooted in shared values, Sweden and Finland 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.”

“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s unanimous approval of this resolution reaffirms the steadfast support for the transatlantic alliance in the Senate, which has been fundamental to our coordinated global response to Putin’s unprovoked, bloody war in Ukraine. I’m very encouraged by the continued bipartisan spirit to strengthen our support for NATO, both on this committee and throughout the Senate. This resolution builds on that work as we send a powerful message of support for Finland and Sweden’s accession,” said Senator Shaheen. “As co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group and as I prepare to lead a bipartisan delegation to the NATO Summit in Spain at the end of the month, I’ll continue to work across the aisle to advance U.S. interests in support of the transatlantic alliance, to aid our Ukrainian partners and to maintain our world order.”

“I applaud the committee’s passage of this resolution expressing support for Finland and Sweden’s swift admittance into NATO. It is a critical moment to join together with friends and allies in the face of Russia’s unprovoked invasion and atrocities in Ukraine,” said Senator Johnson. “I believe Finland and Sweden’s addition to NATO will strengthen our collective defense. I hope my colleagues in the senate move quickly to pass this resolution as the committee has done today.”

 “I traveled to NATO headquarters in Brussels last month and witnessed first-hand NATO’s historic unity and the importance of its efforts to aid Ukraine,”  said Senator Coons, “Finland and Sweden would be significant assets to the alliance, bringing economic strength and military capabilities that will only bolster efforts to deter Putin’s aggression. I’m glad to join with my Senate Foreign Relations Committee colleagues in passing this resolution, and I look forward to its swift consideration and passage on the floor of the Senate.”

This resolution:

  • Welcomes and supports Finland’s and Sweden’s decision to join NATO;
  • Acknowledges that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dramatically changed the security situation in Europe, and the reform and expansion of NATO is key to ensuring a safe and prosperous future for the United States and critical allies and partners;
  • Recognizes that Finland and Sweden have surpassed the qualifications expected of prospective members, and that both countries have much to contribute and gain from NATO membership;
  • Reaffirms support for NATO’s collective security commitment and for maximizing our allies’ combined defense capabilities through NATO coordination and cooperation;
  • Calls on the Biden Administration to move expeditiously to complete all documents and reports needed to support the Senate’s approval of the accession protocols; and
  • Calls on all NATO members to move rapidly to complete their ratification process.

S.Res.646 was introduced on May 19, 2022. Text of the resolution as introduced can be found here.