Morning Sun

Sen. Mcconnell: Finland, Sweden can be ‘important additions’ to NATO

- By Lisa Mascaro

WASHINGTON » Senate Republican leader Mitch Mcconnell said Sunday that Finland and Sweden would be “important additions” to NATO as he led a delegation of GOP senators to the region in a show of support against Russia’s aggression.

Mcconnell also called on President Joe Biden to designate Russia as state sponsor of terrorism over its invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters from Stockholm, Mcconnell said that Finland and Sweden, unlike some members of the Western alliance, would likely be in a position to pay their NATO obligation­s and would offer significan­t military capabiliti­es.

“They will be important additions to NATO, if they choose to join,” he said, adding, “I think the United States ought to be first in line to ratify the treaty for both these countries to join.”

Mcconnell is a longtime NATO supporter, and his trip to the Nordic nations with Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas follows their surprise stop in Ukraine’s capital to express solidarity in the fight.

Mcconnell was in Sweden while leading diplomats from the 30 NATO member states met in Berlin to discuss providing more support to Ukraine.

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