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US Senate overwhelmingly approves Nato membership for Finland and Sweden

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US Senate approve NATO membership for Sweden and Finland

The US Senate delivered near-unanimous bipartisan approval to Nato membership for Finland and Sweden on Wednesday, calling expansion of the western defensive bloc a “slam-dunk” for US national security and a day of reckoning for Vladimir Putin.

The 95-1 vote for the candidacy of two European countries that, until Russia’s war against Ukraine, had long avoided military alliances took a crucial step toward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its 73-year-old pact of mutual defense among the United States and democratic allies in Europe.

Joe Biden, who has been the principal player rallying global economic and material support for Ukraine, has sought quick entry for the two previously non-militarily aligned northern European countries.

Approval from all member countries – currently, 30 – is required. The candidacies of Finland and Sweden have won ratification from more than half of the Nato member countries in the roughly three months since the two applied.

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