On August 8, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden officially signed the instruments of ratification of the accession protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden.
The U.S. Senate first received the instruments of accession from the president on July 11, 2022, and provided their consent on August 3, 2022. (Treaty Doc. 117-3.) Accessions (formal entry by a new party to an existing treaty) to the North Atlantic Treaty are governed under article 10 of the treaty, which provides that a country can become a member of NATO on unanimous consent of all signatories and deposit of its instrument of accession with the United States. The accessions by Finland and Sweden are the first since North Macedonia joined the organization in 2019. (Treaty Doc. 116-1.)
Of note, the Senate in its executive report on the accessions included several declarations (clarifications of a certain position) in its consent to the accessions. The declarations included a reaffirmation of the importance of the United States’ involvement and membership in NATO, and provided a rationale for NATO’s enlargement based on Finland’s and Sweden’s ability to increase the stability of Northeastern Europe. The executive report also explained that both Finland’s and Sweden’s military strength made them well-qualified to be members of NATO, specifically mentioning Finland’s air assets and Sweden’s strong military defense industry.