May 24, 2022
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) joined U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and Co-Chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, Thom Tillis (N.C.), Senate NATO Observer Group Co-Chair, and 79 of their colleagues in a bipartisan letter to President Biden urging him to expedite the executive branch’s process to advance Sweden and Finland’s applications for NATO membership and pledging to work with the administration to ensure swift ratification of the Washington Treaty.
In the letter, the senators noted that NATO’s expansion will send a clear message to Vladimir Putin and authoritarian leaders across the globe that the free world stands ready to bolster the alliance and defend our values and sovereignty, including through NATO’s open door policy.
“As Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has proven, NATO, along with our democratic partners around the world, is more united than ever in opposition to the illegal acts of war waged by President Putin,” the senators wrote. “Expanding NATO to include Finland and Sweden will send a clear message to Vladimir Putin, and any leader that attempts to follow in his path, that the free world stands ready to defend its values and sovereignty. We will also continue to support NATO’s open-door policy, which affirms that new members are welcome to the alliance.”
The senators also affirmed their support for Sweden and Finland’s applications as part of the Senate’s constitutional role to provide advice and consent for NATO enlargement. During this pivotal moment to our global security, they noted this expansion will further strengthen NATO’s military and diplomatic capabilities to address emerging threats, and mutual security assurances will extend to these two governments under the alliance.
“Members of the U.S. Senate take seriously our role in advising and consenting to NATO enlargement, a process that must be approved by all NATO member states. We affirm our support for Sweden and Finland’s applications for membership. In addition, we pledge to work closely with you and with our Senate colleagues to ensure that their applications are swiftly considered and approved by the Senate,” the senators concluded. “The transatlantic alliance has never been more crucial to global security and stability. The addition of these two important allies to NATO will ensure the alliance’s resilience and readiness, and we look forward to welcoming Sweden and Finland to NATO.”
Click Here to read the letter.
Blunt has long been a strong advocate for NATO. In March, Blunt helped introduce legislation to strengthen security and economic cooperation with states in the Baltic region amid Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Blunt recently introduced a resolution with U.S. Senators Rob Portman (Ohio) and Chris Coons (Del.) to recognize NATO-member Poland for the country’s efforts to welcome Ukrainian refugees and to support the Ukrainian resistance. During a congressional delegation trip to Estonia in 2015, Blunt met with Air Force Reservists from the 442nd Fighter Wing, based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, who were training with NATO allies as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. In 2014, Blunt cosponsored the Russian Aggression Prevention Act, legislation to increase support for NATO and America’s allies in Eastern Europe.
Blunt has consistently stressed the importance of providing aid to Ukraine. Blunt joined Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier last month to share his insights from a congressional delegation trip to Europe and the Ukrainian border. This month, Blunt questioned World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley about the impact of the war on global food supply and food prices.