US Senate approves Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO

Tags: International News

The United States Senate on 3 August approved Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO.

Important facts

  • The US Senate voted 95 to one in favour of both Western European countries joining NATO.

  • This historic vote provides an important indication of the continued, bipartisan US commitment to NATO.

  • The Nordic countries, which had long maintained neutrality, had united to join a 30-member coalition in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

  • Earlier the National Assembly of France voted in favor of Finland and Sweden's NATO membership.

  • Several countries, including Germany, Canada and Italy, have already approved the ratification.

NATO membership process

  • First a country must formally apply for NATO membership.

  • The joining country must meet the criteria set out in NATO's 1995 "Study on Expansion". These criteria include a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy, the ability to make a military contribution to NATO, etc.

  • A country can join NATO only if all its 30 member countries support its membership.

  • A country can become a member of NATO after ratification of accession protocols, which may take 8 to 12 months.

  • At present, Turkey has not agreed to give NATO membership to Finland and Sweden.

About North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) 

  • NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance consisting of 30 member states belonging to Europe and North America (28 European states, the US and Canada).

  • NATO aims to guarantee the security of its members through political and military means.

  • According to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, an armed attack against any NATO member in Europe or North America shall be deemed an attack against all NATO members.

  • Article 5 has been invoked only once so far after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the US.

  • The last country to join NATO was North Macedonia in 2020.

  • Headquarters- Brussels, Belgium

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