WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after Hungary became the final NATO Member to approve Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

“Sweden’s expected accession to NATO is cause for celebration. Its military is highly capable and professional. As an ally and friend, Sweden will play an essential role in transatlantic and U.S. security.

“The long-term implications for Sweden’s historic shift from 200 years of neutrality and military non-alignment are profound.

“Sweden and NATO are sending a strong message to President Putin. Sweden began its path to NATO as a direct result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Its joining of our alliance is proof that Russia, under Putin and after Ukraine, is more isolated, poorer, weaker, and less likely to succeed in its objectives. I look forward to Sweden participating in our allied and global effort to ensure that we – democracies, transatlantic allies, and free peoples – survive and thrive.

“I congratulate King Carl XVI Gustaf, Prime Minister Kristersson, and the Swedish people on taking this step. I applaud their commitment to defend the freedom, democracy, and values that give NATO its strength. The United States, other allies, and partners around the world will work tirelessly with them to that end. And I look forward to working with Sweden to defend against mutual threats and fortify NATO, the most successful alliance in history.”