U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Jeanne Shaheen, Thom Tillis, Chris Coons, Joni Erns, Jeff Merkley, Mike Rounds, Cory Booker, and John Barrasso, members of the Senate NATO Observer Group, sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to use this week’s diplomatic talks at the NATO-Russia Council meeting.
“As members of the Senate NATO Observer Group, we write to convey robust bipartisan support for the security and freedom of our eastern European allies in advance of this week’s diplomatic talks at the NATO-Russia Council meeting. This current crisis, artificially created by Vladimir Putin’s unprecedented build-up of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s border, reflects Putin’s refusal to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Russia’s neighbors. The undersigned Senators support your efforts to utilize all diplomatic channels to make it clear to Putin that the US and its allies will not accept its current aggression against Ukraine, nor will it allow for an invasion of Ukraine without severe consequences.
Russia does not have veto power on NATO enlargement and expansion of the Alliance.
This will be decided solely by NATO members themselves. The US and its allies and partners are committed to the principle of “no decisions or discussions about Ukraine without Ukraine”, which should also be applied to Georgia.
The door to NATO membership remains open to European countries which are ready and willing to undertake the commitments and obligations of membership and whose membership contributes to the security in the Euro-Atlantic Area; NATO should consider an increased military presence on the Alliance’s eastern flank, including the Baltic states, Poland, and the Black Sea region to serve as a deterrent to Russian aggression”, - reads the letter.