Senate's 95 to 1 overwhelming approval of Nordic nations' NATO accession sends a strong message to Russia over its attack on Ukraine, US lawmakers say.

US becomes 23rd of the 30 members to formally endorse Finland, Sweden's accession to NATO.
US becomes 23rd of the 30 members to formally endorse Finland, Sweden's accession to NATO. (Kathryn E. Holm / US Department of Defense)

The US Senate has ratified the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, strongly backing the expansion of the transatlantic alliance in the face of Russia's assault on Ukraine.

The Senate voted 95 to 1 on Wednesday in favour of the two Nordic countries' accession, making the United States the 23rd of the 30 NATO countries to formally endorse it so far, after Italy approved it earlier Wednesday and France on Tuesday.

After the voting, President Joe Biden said that it sends an important signal of the sustained, bipartisan US commitment to NATO.

"I look forward to signing the accession protocols and welcoming Sweden and Finland," he added.

The sole opponent was Republican Josh Hawley, who argued that the US has to focus on protecting its homeland but also that Washington should concentrate on the challenge from China rather than Europe.

One senator, Republican Rand Paul, voted "present" rather than endorsing or opposing the motion.

READ MORE: Finland, Sweden sign protocols for NATO entry but still need ratification

Security guarantees to Türkiye

All 30 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization must agree if Finland and Sweden, officially non-aligned but longtime adjunct partners of the alliance, are admitted.

According to a NATO list, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Türkiye have yet to formally agree to their entry.

Türkiye has posed a challenge, demanding certain concessions from Finland and Sweden to back their memberships.

Türkiye, Sweden and Finland signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding that includes the extradition of YPG/PKK terrorists taking refuge in the Nordic countries. 

Stockholm and Helsinki also pledged in the pact they will not provide any support to the PKK and its splinter groups.

But the globally-recognised terrorist group's members have continued to show support in Swedish cities.

Türkiye has warned that it will not approve Nordic countries' applications to NATO until articles of the agreement are met.

Türkiye said on July 21 that a special committee would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with its conditions.

READ MORE: Altun: Türkiye will assess whether Sweden fulfils its commitments

Source: TRTWorld and agencies