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‘Historic vote!’ Putin left red-faced as US Senate backs Finland and Sweden joining NATO

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The Senate voted 95 to one to support ratification of accession documents, easily surpassing the two-thirds majority of 67 votes required to support ratification of the two countries’ accession documents. Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership in response to the February 24 invasion.

Russia has repeatedly warned both countries against joining the alliance.

US President Joe Biden said in a statement: “This historic vote sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan US commitment to NATO, and to ensuring our Alliance is prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday that the vote to approve the resolution of ratification for Sweden and Finland’s application to NATO would take place and said that he had invited the ambassadors from Finland and Sweden to join in the gallery during debate and votes.

Mr Schumer said: “Our NATO alliance is the bedrock that has guaranteed democracy in the western world since the end of World War II.

“This strengthens NATO even further and is particularly needed in light of recent Russian aggression.

“When Leader McConnell and I met with the Finnish President and Swedish Prime Minister in May, we committed to do this as fast as we could and certainly before we go home for the August recess.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted in remarks on the floor on Wednesday ahead of the vote that it would be, “as decisive as it is bipartisan.”

McConnell argued that admitting Sweden and Finland to NATO will “only strengthen the most successful military alliance in human history.”

McConnell also used his floor time to take aim at lawmakers who do not support the resolution.

He said: “If any senator is looking for a defensible excuse to vote no, I wish them good luck.

“This is a slam dunk for national security that deserves unanimous bipartisan support.”

A State Department spokesperson told CNN: “The next step in the ratification process is for the President to sign an instrument of ratification of the treaty.”

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The spokesperson told CNN: “Once the President has signed an instrument of ratification, that instrument is deposited (in the case of a multilateral treaty) with the treaty’s depositary.”

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