by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The US Senate on Wednesday voted 95-1 in overwhelming approval of the applications by Sweden and Finland to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Axios reports. NATO was established in 1949 by 12 countries, including the US, Canada, Italy, and France, to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
The Senate’s vote in favor of Sweden and Finland’s membership was necessary as all 30 NATO members must approve new applications to join the alliance. The two countries held a long-term neutral stance until the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February prompted them to apply for membership.
“What we see now, Europe, the world, is more divided,” Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö said in a statement to CNN about the Finnish application. “There’s not very much room for nonaligned in between.”
In a speech last month about Sweden’s application to join NATO, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said: “Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is not only illegal and indefensible, it also undermines the European security order that Sweden builds its security on. Should Sweden be the only country in the Baltic Sea region that was not a member of NATO, we would be in a very vulnerable position. We can’t rule out that Russia would then increase pressure on Sweden.”
The remaining NATO member states are expected to give swift and solid support for Sweden and Finland to join NATO, as the US has done, Axios said. The sole US vote against the NATO application of Finland and Sweden was from Republican senator for Missouri Josh Hawley.
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