Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday that the vote to approve the resolution to ratify the application of Sweden and Finland to join NATO will take place, and said that he invited the ambassadors of Finland and Sweden to join the exhibition during the discussion and vote.
“Our alliance with NATO is the cornerstone that has ensured democracy in the Western world since the end of World War II. This strengthens NATO even more and is especially needed in light of the recent Russian aggression,” Schumer said in remarks from the Senate.
“When Leader McConnell and I met the Finnish president and the Swedish prime minister in May, we committed to doing it as quickly and certainly as possible before going home for the August break,” Schumer said.
A State Department spokesperson told CNN that once the Senate approves the protocols for Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO, “the next step in the ratification process is for the president to sign the instrument of ratification of the treaty.”
“Once the President signs the instrument of ratification, this instrument (in the case of a multilateral treaty) is deposited with the Depositary of the Treaty,” the ministry in the case of NATO, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson told CNN that these steps will not occur on the same day the Senate approves, and final arrangements have not yet been made for the filing of the instrument of ratification.
And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted in remarks on the floor on Wednesday before the vote that it would be “crucial as it is bipartisan.”
McConnell argued that Sweden’s and Finland’s admission to NATO “will only strengthen the most successful military alliance in human history.”
McConnell also used his time to speak to lawmakers who do not support the resolution.
“If any senator is looking for a defensible excuse to vote No, I wish them the best of luck,” he said. “This is a fatal blow to national security that deserves unanimous bipartisan support.”
Sweden and Finland announced their intention to join NATO in May, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a sudden shift in attitudes toward joining the bloc.
“Finland and Sweden want to join NATO to stave off further Russian aggression in Europe,” he wrote. “This is perfectly understandable given their location and their security needs. But America’s biggest foreign adversary does not loom large in Europe. It looms large in Asia. I am of course talking about the People’s Republic of China. And when it comes to Chinese imperialism, the American people should know the truth: The US is not ready to fight it. Expanding US security commitments in Europe now will only make this problem worse – and America less secure.
“For Sweden and Finland, we still need a serious, rational and objective discussion about the costs and benefits of accepting two historically neutral countries with such a strategic geo-location for Russia,” he wrote. “Before the Russian invasion, I would have said no. But given the Russian actions, I switched from opposing their admission to NATO to being neutral on this issue, and as a result, the vote would be ‘present.’
CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.
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