McConnell to senators looking for excuse to oppose Finland, Sweden NATO bids:..

Source: The Hill | August 3, 2022 | Zach Schonfeld

McConnell to senators looking for excuse to oppose Finland, Sweden NATO bids: ‘Good luck’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday spoke in support of Finland’s and Sweden’s bids to join NATO in advance of a Senate vote later in the day expected to have broad, but not unanimous, support.

“Their accession will make NATO stronger and America more secure,” McConnell said.

“If any senator is looking for a defensible excuse to vote ‘no,’ I wish them good luck,” he continued. “This is a slam dunk for national security that deserves unanimous bipartisan support.”

The two European countries’ bids to join the military alliance are expected to have widespread, bipartisan support in the Senate.

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All 30 member states of the alliance must now approve the two countries’ bids for the effort to be successful. Twenty-two countries have already ratified their accession, while the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the United States have not yet formally signed off.

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McConnell on Wednesday reiterated his endorsement of Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO bids, noting that Finland already meets the alliance’s target for countries to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense, while Sweden was making “significant” investments in modernizing its military.

“There’s just no question that admitting these robust democratic countries with modern economies and capable interoperable militaries will only strengthen the most successful military alliance in human history,” McConnell said during his floor speech.

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