Ahead of Senate Vote, Romney Reaffirms Support for Sweden, Finland NATO Accession

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor ahead of the vote on ratifying Sweden and Finland’s membership to NATO. In his remarks, Romney reaffirmed his support for the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO and voiced his opposition to Senator Rand Paul’s amendment, arguing that our commitment to NATO and Article 5 must be clear and unambiguous.

A transcript of Senator Romney’s remarks can be found below.

I rise to oppose the Paul amendment to the Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification for the Accession of the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to NATO.

Like virtually all of my colleagues, I heartily support the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO. Their commitment to democracy, their military capabilities and their resolve in the face of Russian aggression is welcome.

With Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, NATO has been united in providing support for the Ukrainians to defend themselves.

NATO is also united in its adherence to the provisions of the NATO Treaty. The world is watching to see if there are any cracks in that commitment, particularly with respect its provisions for mutual defense. We must not in any way appear to be going wobbly on Article 5. I fear that the Paul amendment would do just that.

Further, Senator Paul’s amendment is unnecessary. The NATO Treaty specifically states this: “This Treaty shall be ratified and its provisions carried out by the Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.” That’s in the NATO Treaty itself.

So adding the language of the Paul amendment would only add confusion and potentially communicate to the world that this body seeks something in addition to the adherence to constitutional process that the treaty itself already requires.

Now, it is well and good for Congress to consider War Powers and our role in military conflicts, but doing so as part of the ascension of Sweden and Finland to NATO, while Ukraine is under attack and while Russia may potentially be eyeing violence against NATO nations, is surely not the time. Our commitment to NATO and Article 5 must be clear and unambiguous.

Throughout our nation’s history, the United States has not once ratified NATO protocols with a reservation. Now should be no different. Doing so could send the wrong message to the people of Ukraine and to our other friends and allies. It could even be propagandized as a nod to Putin.

I urge my colleagues to vote down Senator Paul’s amendment. Our message must be clear: We stand with NATO, with Article 5, and with the admission of Finland and Sweden into our alliance.