On April 13, 2022, a Russian soldier stands guard at the Luhansk power plant in the town of Shchastya.
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The Senate voted in favor of adding Finland and Sweden to NATO.
The two Nordic countries moved to join NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
There was overwhelming bipartisan support for adding them to the powerful alliance.
The Senate on Wednesday voted in favor of ratifying NATO membership for Sweden and Finland, marking yet another rebuke of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. There was strong bipartisan support for adding both countries to the alliance, with the resolution passing in a vote of 95-1-1.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri was the lone “no” vote. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voted “present.”
“Today, at a moment when democracy in Europe is under attack, as belligerent autocrats like Putin clamor for European dominance, the US Senate is voting in overwhelming bipartisan fashion to approve Finland and Sweden’s accession to the NATO alliance,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said right before the vote, which he said would send a signal to Russia that “they cannot intimidate America or Europe.”
“Putin has tried to use his war in Ukraine to divide the West. Instead, our vote today shows our alliance is stronger than ever,” Schumer continued, adding he was confident Finland and Sweden would be “excellent partners” in the alliance.
The two Nordic countries have historically been neutral or military non-aligned, but Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine pushed them to join NATO.
Prior to ordering Russia’s so-called “special operation” in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin railed against NATO enlargement and blamed the alliance for his aggression toward the former Soviet republic. Putin demanded that the West agree to permanently bar Ukraine and Georgia from joining NATO, arguing that adding them to the alliance would pose unacceptable threats …read more
Source:: Business Insider