Senate votes to let Sweden, Finland join NATO

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley was the only opposition vote
Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Mar. 2, 2022

The Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to accept the application of Sweden and Finland to join NATO amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The upper chamber voted 95-1 to approve the request, according to USA Today. Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley was the only opposition vote.

The junior Missouri senator cited concerns that investing too much of America's resources in Europe to contain Russia would render it helpless against growing Chinese imperialism.

“America’s greatest foreign adversary doesn’t loom over Europe. It looms in Asia. I am talking of course about the People’s Republic of China. And when it comes to Chinese imperialism, the American people should know the truth: the United States is not ready to resist it," he wrote in an op-ed before the vote. "Expanding American security commitments in Europe now would only make that problem worse—and America, less safe.”

The two Baltic nations submitted their applications simultaneously following Moscow's attack on its western neighbor. They will need unanimous support from the member nations to join the bloc.

Turkey previously announced it would oppose Sweden and Finland's bids, but later changed course after receiving promises from Stockholm and Helsinki that the pair would work to address concerns about terrorist activities within their countries.