In what has been described as a near-unanimous move, the United States Senate, on Wednesday, voted to support Finland and Sweden to become members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
Ninety-five senators voted overwhelmingly to back the entry of the two previously non-militarily aligned northern European countries into NATO.
Only Republican Senator, Josh Hawley of Missouri voted against the move, arguing that US should be more concerned about the threat from China.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed Finland and Sweden to pursue NATO membership. The two countries have been neutral or militarily non-aligned throughout much of their respective histories, including during the Cold War.
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US President Joe Biden, who has been the principal player rallying global economic and material support for Ukraine, had openly backed Sweden and Finland to join NATO.
For any country to join the alliance, approval of all the member countries is required. Interestingly, the candidacies of Finland and Sweden have won ratification from more than half of the NATO member countries in the roughly three months since the two applied for membership.