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Kaine Statement on Senate Approval of NATO Protocols for Finland and Sweden

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), released the following statement after the Senate voted to ratify protocols for Finland and Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):

“When Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin sought to divide NATO. But this unjustified war has only strengthened the alliance, reaffirming that the U.S. and its NATO partners will stand together against Russia’s unprovoked attack on the Ukrainian people and their national sovereignty. Putin’s invasion has shown countries like Finland and Sweden how important NATO is for our collective security. With today’s historic approval of this resolution, the United States is doing its part to ensure Finland and Sweden can join NATO.” 

The government of every NATO member state must agree to the admittance of a new member state by ratifying the Accession Protocols. The ratification procedure varies in different countries. In the U.S., the Senate must pass the required legislation by a two-thirds majority vote. President Biden formally sent the request to the Senate on July 11, and SFRC passed the resolution on July 19, 2022.

NATO has a large presence at Joint Force Command Norfolk, the only operational NATO command in the U.S.

The full resolution is available here.

Kaine is also a cosponsor of a separate resolution expressing the Senate’s support for Finland and Sweden’s accession into NATO. A longtime advocate of the alliance, Kaine has introduced bipartisan legislation to explicitly prohibit any president of the United States from withdrawing the U.S. from NATO without Congressional approval. This legislation passed out of SFRC in March and awaits a vote before the full Senate.