The two European countries are seeking to join the alliance, which would end their long-standing military neutrality, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday ratifying Finland‘s and Sweden‘s applications to join NATO as the Western military alliance seeks to strengthen its resolve against the threat posed by Russia.
The measure was approved in a 95-1 vote that required support from at least two-thirds of senators present. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., cast the only vote against ratification.
“Today’s vote shows our alliance is stronger than ever,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor immediately before the vote. “This is important substantively and as a signal to Russia: They cannot intimidate America or Europe.”
The Biden administration is now expected to submit the ratification documents to NATO.
“We will continue working to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security, and to deter and confront aggression or the threat of aggression,” President Joe Biden said in a statement after the Senate vote.
“I look forward to signing the accession protocols and welcoming Sweden and Finland, two strong democracies with highly capable militaries, into the greatest defensive alliance in history,” he added.
All 30 NATO countries must ratify the applications before Finland and Sweden can become members. The two European countries are seeking to join the alliance, which would end their long-standing military neutrality, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.