Beyer Joins Bipartisan Delegation Backing NATO Bids For Finland And Sweden With House Resolution
Washington, May 24, 2022
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), co-Chair of the Congressional Friends of Sweden Caucus, last week joined a bipartisan delegation introducing a House Resolution supporting Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO. Their resolution expresses the sense of the House that Finland and Sweden would add an immediate boost to the alliance’s defense capabilities, and its sense that Biden Administration officials and NATO representatives should expedite the applications of both countries.
“Sweden and Finland have strong, bipartisan support in Congress as they seek NATO membership, and their addition will meaningfully enhance the security of the whole alliance,” said Beyer. “Both countries have significant military and intelligence capabilities, much of which are already integrated with NATO partners. As a co-Chair of the Friends of Sweden Caucus I have discussed a possible bid by Sweden and Finland to join NATO with colleagues during recent weeks as both countries weighed this course of action. Now that they have chosen to pursue membership, Congress will have their back. Sweden and Finland did not want or seek to join the alliance until Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, which has been accompanied by overt threats from the Kremlin towards both nations. Putin gave Sweden and Finland every reason to seek NATO membership, and now that they have done so they will have rock solid American support.”
Finland and Sweden, which are historically neutral countries, rapidly shifted their defense policy as the Russian Federation wages a cruel and unnecessary war against its neighbor Ukraine. Rather than deter countries from joining NATO, the Kremlin has done the opposite, driving those into the alliance as a reaction to reckless aggression. Finland and Sweden formally applied to NATO on May 18th.
The House Resolution was introduced by Rep. William Keating (D-MA), with Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and Ann Wagner (D-MO). Cospsonsors include Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Co-Chair (with Beyer) of the Congressional Friends of Sweden Caucus; Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Co-Chairs of the Friends of Finland Caucus; Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly; Congressman Michael Turner (R-OH), Vice Chair of the US Delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly. A complete list of cosponsors is available here, and text of the Resolution can be found here.