The House approved the resolution expressing the United States’ support for Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
The resolution passed 394-18, with only Republicans voting against it, The Hill reported.
The push for the two nordic countries, of which Finland borders Russia, came amid Russia’s war with Ukraine. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently said he believes the war will conclude at the end of the year.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the House Majority Leader, expressed his support for the resolution on the House floor Monday, saying NATO will receive “two extraordinary new members.”
“Together, Finland and Sweden will add substantial capabilities to NATO’s collective defense and make the Baltic region much more secure against Russian aggression,” Hoyer said. “But much more than that, they will add value because of their values to our alliance.
“Vladimir Putin must not win this war,” Hoyer added. “Not only for the sake of the Ukrainians and their extraordinary bravery, and the bravery and leadership of Mr. Zelenskyy, their president, but because the free world needs to send a very strong and clear and unmistakable message that tyranny will not prevail.
“We must send a message to dictators around the world that this action is unacceptable and will be opposed to victory by the free world. We must defend the hard-won principle in international laws and norms that a nation cannot simply invade and seek to conquer territory from a neighbor by force.”
Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and a sponsor of the resolution, said Finland and Sweden would be “significant security providers for NATO.”
“Finland and Sweden’s strategic location in Northern Europe, advanced militaries and decades of fighting alongside the U.S. and NATO,” Turner said during debate on the House floor, “mean that their accession will immediately strengthen the transatlantic security.”
“Finland and Sweden have well-trained armed forces, sophisticated modern weapon systems and have committed to allocating 2% of their gross domestic product to defense spending. Both militaries are highly interoperable with NATO forces, having participated in numerous NATO-led operations from Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, and Herzegovina to Kosovo.”
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