Washington (The Times Groupe)- after meeting Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto in Helsinki, the U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said that Congress would seek to ratify Finland’s application to join NATO before it goes on holiday in August.
Canada, another NATO ally in North America, also promised a rapid ratification.
McConnell told reporters on Monday that he hopes to achieve the deal before Aug. recess, when Congress goes out of session.
Finnish President Niinisto announced on Sunday that Finland will apply to join NATO, part of a historic policy shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sweden is also planning to join.
U.S. lawmakers are broadly supportive of Finland’s membership, according to McConnell.
“The vote size will be significant. It will not be unanimous, but it will be significant,” he said.
McConnell said the Republican Party was committed to U.S. participation in the military alliance.
I don’t believe that’s the majority view within the Republican Party, and certainly not the majority view among Senate Republicans or House Republicans,” he responded when asked about former President Donald Trump’s view on pulling his country out of NATO.
Melanie Joly, Canada’s foreign minister, said on Monday that Canada was also in favor of Finland and Sweden joining NATO immediately.
Canada hopes to be one of the first to ratify Sweden and Finland’s accession to the EU, Joly told reporters as she arrived in Brussels for a meeting with her EU counterparts. She said Canada would ratify Sweden and Finland’s accession within days.