Shaheen delivers remarks ahead of historic Senate vote on NATO membership protocols for Sweden and Finland

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August 03, 2022

(Washington, DC) – US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and Co-Chairman of the Senate NATO Observer Group, spoke in the Senate this afternoon. She urged the Senate to pass the resolution paving the way for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. She explained why this NATO enlargement is essential to confront Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine, especially his campaign of ethnic cleansing aimed at eradicating the distinct culture and identity of the Ukrainian people.

“Today is truly a historic day in the US Senate, as our body soon considers approving Sweden and Finland’s membership in the NATO Alliance. Putin’s barbaric war on Ukraine is one of the most serious miscalculations in modern history – his assault on Ukrainian people and identity has united democracies around the world and redefined global alliances. The people of Ukraine are at the forefront of a war for democracy and for our shared collective values ​​that underpin the core of the NATO Alliance,” said Shaheen.

“Now the United States is poised to welcome two capable, qualified, and deserving members to NATO. I led efforts in the Senate to support Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO. NATO, and I am delighted that the Senate today officially delivered on our promise to our allies. Particularly as we face Putin’s dangerous campaign against Ukraine, I remain committed to strengthening global coordination to preserve our rules-based order and ensure that NATO continues to be the strongest it has ever been. she added.

You can watch Shaheen’s full remarks here.

As co-chair of the Senate NATO Observation Group with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), ?Shaheen recently led a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the NATO summit in Spain, in addition to stopping in Finland and Sweden to support their aspirations for NATO membership. Shaheen and Tillis also conducted a bipartisan coalition of 80 lawmakers in a joint statement of support and letter to President Biden, calling for Finland and Sweden to quickly join NATO. Shaheen is also a member of the Ukrainian Senate Caucus and leads actions in the US Senate in support of Ukraine in response to Vladimir Putin’s belligerence, which also threatens the stability and security of Eastern Europe and allies in the EU. NATO.

Last month, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen helped introduce a bipartisan resolution recognizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine as genocide. In March, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Shaheen this would ensure that the United States undertakes coordinated efforts to collect and preserve evidence of war crimes and atrocities committed by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine. Recently, legislation co-led by Shaheen to expedite military assistance to Ukraine and Eastern European countries was enacted. In February, Shaheen and Portman (R-OH) conducted a successful bipartisan effort to pass a resolution that conveys a renewed and overwhelmingly bipartisan message from the US Senate of strong support for Ukraine. In January, Shaheen and Portman led a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine, where they met with President Zelenskyy and members of his administration to discuss support efforts ahead of Russia’s unprovoked invasion. In February, Shaheen and Portman successfully conducted a bipartisan resolution reaffirming its support for Ukraine in a context of increased Russian aggression. Shaheen is also co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which she re-established in 2018.

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