U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer with representatives of Sweden and Finland on Capitol Hill before the vote to join NATO.
The United States on Wednesday ratified Finland's and Sweden's protocols for joining NATO after the two countries' historic decision to give up their neutrality due to the invasion Russian in Ukraine.
The US Senate approved this resolution in a vote by a very large majority with elected officials from both parties (95 votes for, 1 against). A two-thirds majority was needed to approve the text.
The Biden administration ardently supported this ratification, which was supposed to demonstrate the solidity of the Atlantic Alliance in the face of expansionist Russia .
This historic vote is an important sign of the United States' enduring, cross-partisan commitment to NATO and the will to ensure that our Alliance is ready to meet the challenges of today. today and tomorrow, President Joe Biden said in a statement.
In the United States, only the Senate has the power to ratify international agreements.
Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to use the war in Ukraine to divide the West. Instead, today's vote shows the Alliance is stronger than ever, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said shortly before the vote.
This vote comes the day after the ratification of the accession protocols by the French Parliament as well as by Italy on Wednesday.
Including the United States, 23 states have already ratified the membership of the two countries out of the thirty necessary, according to the count of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
All NATO member countries must ratify the accession protocols before they can enter into force and, therefore, before Finland and Sweden can benefit from membership. Article 5.
Article 5 of the Treaty of the North Atlantic Alliance, founded in 1949 at the start of the Cold War, allows the triggering of a joint response in the event of an attack on one of the members.
During the debate on Wednesday, senators rejected an amendment that attempted to protect the prerogatives of the US Congress to declare war should Article 5 be activated.
Sweden and Finland's membership in NATO is not yet certain, with Turkey threatening to “freeze” the process by accusing the two Nordic countries of benevolence towards the Party Workers of Kurdistan (PKK) and its allies, which Ankara considers terrorist organizations.
Ankara, which had been blocking their entry into the Atlantic Alliance since May, signed a memorandum of understanding with them in June that links their membership to their fight against Kurdish movements and their supporters on their soil.
However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again threatened at the end of July to blockade, accusing in particular Sweden of not taking its part in the fight against terrorism.
Sweden and Finland, which had so far refrained from joining NATO so as not to incur the wrath of neighboring Russia, presented their respective candidacies after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine by Moscow. These were approved at a NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June.
These accessions represent a major change in European security and come against a backdrop of a considerable reinforcement of the American presence on the European continent since the Russian invasion.