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US could ratify Finnish NATO membership before August, Senate Republican leader says

/ 06:19 PM May 16, 2022
Finland's President Sauli Niinisto and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell answer questions from the media after a meeting at the President's official residence Mantyniemi, in Helsinki, Finland, May 16, 2022. Lehtikuva/Roni Rekomaa via REUTERS

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell answer questions from the media after a meeting at the President’s official residence Mantyniemi, in Helsinki, Finland, May 16, 2022. Lehtikuva/Roni Rekomaa via REUTERS

HELSINKI — The U.S. Congress will seek to ratify Finland’s application to join the Western military alliance NATO before going on holiday in August, U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in Helsinki after meeting with Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto.

“Certainly we hope to achieve it before the August recess when Congress typically goes out of session,” he told reporters on Monday.

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President Niinisto confirmed on Sunday that Finland would apply for NATO membership, in a historic policy shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

McConnell said there was broad bipartisan support among U.S. lawmakers for the Finnish membership.

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“With regard to the size of the vote, it will be very significant. Not unanimous, but very significant,” he said.

McConnell stressed the Republican Party’s commitment to continued U.S. participation in the military alliance.

“Absolutely, that’s not the majority view in the Republican Party, certainly not the majority view among Senate Republicans or House Republicans,” he said when asked about former U.S. President Donald Trump’s view on pulling his country out of NATO.

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TAGS: Finland, Finland NATO membership, NATO, US Republican, US Sen. Mitch McConnell
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