Says Two Members Will Make NATO a More Formidable Force against Threats to U.S., Allies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted in favor of admitting Finland and Sweden as members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to ratify the Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 (Treaty Doc. 117-3) to welcome Finland and Sweden as the newest NATO members.  The vote was 95-1.  

“The immediate and long-term interests of the American people are best served by a unified and strong NATO.  Admitting Finland and Sweden, both of which already have a record of participating with NATO, will make the alliance a more formidable force against the aggression and ambitions of Russia, China, and any other adversary,” Hyde-Smith said.

“The Senate declarations accompanying this protocol affirm that U.S. national security comes first, while acknowledging the contributions that Finland, Sweden, and other member nations must bring to the table,” she added.

The declarations, among other things, reaffirm that U.S. membership in NATO is a vital national security interest, and that enlarging NATO is strategic given continuing threats to the United States and NATO allies.  They also confirm the willingness of Finland and Sweden to meet NATO membership requirements, including spending a minimum of 2 percent of their GDP on defense, with 20 percent of their defense budget going toward major equipment, including research and development.

Finland and Sweden, previously neutral nations, applied for NATO membership following Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine in February.  Admission to the historic defensive alliance requires unanimous ratification from all 30 current members of NATO.  The United States is the 23rd of the 30 NATO members to approve.