More than two-thirds of NATO allies have already ratified the membership of Finland and Sweden, less than a month after the two Scandinavian countries concluded accession talks.
Twenty-three of NATO’s 30 allies have by now given their necessary formal stamp of approval for the accession of Finland and Sweden into the military alliance, with the US and Italy becoming the latest to do so on Wednesday.
The US Senate approved the move with a 95-1 vote while the Italian parliament did so with 202 votes in favour, 13 against and one abstention.
US President Joe Biden welcomed the “historic vote” in a statement, saying it “sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan US commitment to NATO, and to ensuring our Alliance is prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow”.
“Finland and Sweden joining the Alliance will further strengthen NATO’s collective security and deepen the transatlantic partnership,” he also said, adding: “I look forward to signing the accession protocols and welcoming Sweden and Finland, two strong democracies with highly capable militaries, into the greatest defensive alliance in history.”
He then officially signed the Instruments of Ratification on 9 August in the presence of the Swedish and Finnish ambassadors to the US.
The votes in the US Congress and Italian parliament came just a day after French lawmakers also backed the two countries’ accession to NATO in a 209-46 ballot.