U.S. House of Representatives passes resolution in support of Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership

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The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution in support of Sweden and Finland’s efforts to join NATO, a vote that resulted in a large majority of 394 votes in favor and 18 against.

According to information gathered by the newspaper ‘The Hill’, the only votes against came from Republicans, while two Democrats and 17 Republicans abstained. The bill, submitted by both countries, endorses the “historic decision” of Sweden and Finland to join NATO and calls on the other member countries to support these efforts.

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The motion also rejects any attempt by Russia to respond negatively to the Stockholm and Helsinki decision and calls on NATO members to meet the two percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spending commitment signed at the 2014 summit in Wales.

Sweden and Finland took a further step towards NATO membership on July 5 with the signing of their accession protocol, with which they become ‘de facto’ members of the military alliance in the absence of formal ratification. Afterwards, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that this was “a historic day for Finland, Sweden, NATO and Euro-Atlantic security”.

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The accession of Sweden and Finland was unblocked at the Madrid summit on June 29-30, when the leaders invited both candidates, after an agreement was reached in the run-up to the meeting for Turkey to lift its veto in exchange for a greater commitment from the Scandinavian countries in the fight against the terrorist group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Sweden of “not keeping its promises” and warned that Turkey could veto his and Finland’s NATO membership. “We see that Sweden in particular is not keeping its promises,” he said, referring to the Nordic countries’ commitment to pursue PKK members there refugees.

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