WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and ranking member on the U.S. Helsinki Commission, today released the following statement after the Senate voted to ratify Finland and Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):
“Today is a pivotal day for the free world,” Wicker said. “Finland and Sweden will be strong partners in the most successful alliance in human history, enhancing NATO’s ability to deter aggression and strengthen freedom in Europe.”
“After visiting with both countries’ senior leaders this summer, I am convinced that expanding NATO to our Nordic friends will benefit the national interest, and I look forward to deepening our security relationship in the years ahead.”
Wicker led a congressional delegation to Europe in July, making stops in Sweden and Finland to meet with the president and prime minster of both countries, respectively. Finland already spends the NATO-mandated 2 percent of its GDP on defense, while Sweden has upped its defense spending in recent years and is on pace to reach 2 percent of GDP in the next decade.
The Mississippi senator also recently authored an op-ed in National Review arguing that military and technological capabilities provided by Finland and Sweden would fortify the alliance’s defenses against Russia, while improving resources available to compete with China.
Read more about Wicker’s work on foreign policy and defense here.