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Wicker, Hyde-Smith support Finland and Sweden NATO applications

Miss. lawmakers join bipartisan letter to President Biden urging swift advancement of bid to expand NATO.

By Anne Summerhays

On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) joined 80 colleagues in a letter to President Biden urging him to expedite Sweden and Finland’s applications for NATO membership. The Senators pledged to work with the Administration to ensure swift ratification of the Washington Treaty.

In the letter, the Senators noted that expanding NATO will send a clear message to Russian President Vladimir Putin and authoritarian leaders across the globe that the free world stands ready to bolster the alliance.

“As Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has proven, NATO, along with our democratic partners around the world, is more united than ever in opposition to the illegal acts of war waged by President Putin. Expanding NATO to include Finland and Sweden will send a clear message to Vladimir Putin, and any leader that attempts to follow in his path, that the free world stands ready to defend its values and sovereignty. We will also continue to support NATO’s open-door policy, which affirms that new members are welcome to the alliance,” the Senators wrote.

The Senators stated that members of the U.S. Senate take seriously our role in advising and consenting to NATO enlargement, a process that must be approved by all NATO member states.

“We affirm our support for Sweden and Finland’s applications for membership. In addition, we pledge to work closely with you and with our Senate colleagues to ensure that their applications are swiftly considered and approved by the Senate,” the Senators concluded. “The transatlantic alliance has never been more crucial to global security and stability. The addition of these two important allies to NATO will ensure the alliance’s resilience and readiness, and we look forward to welcoming Sweden and Finland to NATO.”

The letter was led by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Thom Tillis (R-NC), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group.

“Expanding membership will bolster NATO’s military & diplomatic capabilities as Russia threatens global security amid its invasion of Ukraine,” Senator Shaheen said.

Senator Tillis said that there is strong bipartisan support in the Senate for Sweden and Finland’s applications for NATO.