The Mississippi Senator calls for greater cooperation as Russia threatens Europe.

Last week, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the U.S. Helsinki Commission, led a group of legislators to meet with senior European government officials and discuss opportunities to increase security and cooperation.

Senator Wicker with other members of Congress alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in his summer home of Kultaranta, Finland.

While in Europe, Senator Wicker met with the President of Finland and the Swedish Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, Speaker of Parliament, as well as other leaders to discuss their applications for NATO membership. 

Senator Wicker said that this is a pivotal moment for Europe’s future and how the world responds to Vladimir Putin’s vicious and illegal war in Ukraine.

“Finland and Sweden are taking the historic step to enter NATO, which will benefit the alliance and security in Europe. It was an honor to discuss America’s firm support for their applications directly with their top leadership,” Wicker stated.

Wicker with other members of Congress and Swedish Speaker of Parliament Andreas Norlén in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Mississippi Senator recently met with the Swedish and Finnish ambassadors to the United States to discuss their applications for membership. Wicker wrote an op-ed in National Review, arguing that both countries’ accession to NATO would be in the American national interest.

“Nearly three months into helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression, NATO is reaching a pivotal moment,” the op-ed states. “Vladimir Putin hoped his war would divide and weaken NATO. Instead, our alliance is emerging stronger and more unified than ever before, with the potential of adding Sweden and Finland to the fold.”

“Having just met with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, I’ve concluded it is clear that welcoming both countries into NATO is in our mutual interest,” the op-ed continues.

Wicker with Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu at the 2022 Black Sea Security Summit in Constanta, Romania.

In July, Wicker also led an international Black Sea Security Summit with other European partners in Constanta, Romania. Attendees included senior officials from Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, United States European Command, and NATO.

During the summit, leaders discussed improving the region’s defense against Russian influence and military operations.

Sen. Wicker said that the Black Sea occupies a vital strategic position in Eastern Europe, and our summit was a powerful example of American leadership on important transatlantic security issues.

“The United States and its allies must close shoulders to make sure that this brazen invasion ends successfully, not just for the people of Ukraine, but also for all the free people of the world,” Wicker said.