May 25, 2022

Reed, Whitehouse Back Expedited NATO Application Process for Sweden and Finland

WASHINGTON, DC  – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joined a bipartisan group of 82 U.S. Senators in sending a letter the White House to expedite the Administration’s process to advance Sweden and Finland’s applications for NATO membership.

In the letter, the senators noted that NATO’s expansion will send a clear message to Vladimir Putin and authoritarian leaders across the globe that the free world stands ready to bolster the alliance and defend our values and sovereignty, including through NATO’s open door policy.

“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 82 U.S. Senators wrote.

The Senators also affirmed their support for Sweden and Finland’s applications as part of the Senate’s constitutional role to provide advice and consent for NATO enlargement. During this pivotal moment to our global security, they noted this expansion will further strengthen NATO’s military and diplomatic capabilities to address emerging threats, and mutual security assurances will extend to these two governments under the alliance.

“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 full list of 82 Senators on the letter include Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Barrasso (R-WY), Bennet (D-CO), Blumenthal (D-CT), Blackburn (R-TN), Blunt (R-MO), Booker (D-NJ), Brown (D-OH), Burr (R-NC), Casey (D-PA), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Coons (D-DE), Collins (R-ME), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), Cramer (R-ND), Daines (R-MT), Duckworth (D-IL), Durbin (D-IL), Fischer (R-NE), Hickenlooper (D-CO), King (I-ME), Hassan (D-NH), Inhofe (R-OK), Kelly (D-AZ), Manchin (D-WV), Portman (R-OH), Murkowski (R-AK), Gillibrand (D-NY), Grassley (R-IA), Graham (R-SC), Sasse (R-NE), McConnell (R-KY), Ernst (R-IA), Romney (R-UT), Rounds (R-SD), Thune (R-SD), Hagerty (R-TN), Toomey (R-PA), Hoeven (R-ND), Scott (R-SC), Kaine (D-VA), Sinema (D-AZ), Feinstein (D-CA), Murphy (D-CT), Hirono (D-HI), Merkley (D-OR), Warnock (D-GA), Murray (D-WA), Leahy (D-VT), Klobuchar (D-MN), Markey (D-MA), Lujan (D-NM), Cotton (R-AR), Shaheen (D-NH), Schatz (D-HI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Rosen (D-Nev.), Reed (D-RI), Schumer (D-NY), Heinrich (D-NM), Peters (D-MI), Tillis (R-NC), Whitehouse (D-RI), Padilla (D-CA), Menendez (D-NJ), Warner (D-VA), Ossoff (D-GA), Moore Capito (R-WV), Young (R-IN), Wicker (R-MI), Risch (R-ID), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Stabenow (D-MI), Sullivan (R-AK), Smith (D-MN), Tester (D-Mont.), Marshall (R-Kan.), and Warren (D-Mass.), Wyden (D-Ore.),

Full text of the letter is available here.

Meaghan McCabe, (401) 453-5294

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921