Murkowski Statement on Key Arctic Developments

Today, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) issued the following statement following Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin's announcement supporting Finland's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

“Yesterday, Finland’s President and Prime Minister announced their support for joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. I respect Finland’s right to choose its alliances and fully support its decision to pursue NATO membership. Just as Arctic nations rally behind Ukraine and provide unprecedented support in its fight against Russia’s unprovoked and barbaric invasion, they are making important decisions that reflect the best interests of their own security in a changed world,” said Senator Murkowski.  

On Thursday, the Standing Committee of the Parliamentarism of the Arctic Region (SCPAR) convened a meeting to discuss the current situation in the Arctic. Senator Murkowski was nominated to continue serving as Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the SCPAR, a position she was first selected for in April 2021.

“For the first time in its history, SCPAR met without our Russian counterparts. We unanimously agreed that the Committee must continue to meet in order to address the wide range of issues that affect our countries and the Arctic. I also accepted the Committee’s nomination to remain its Vice Chairman,” said Senator Murkowski. “All of the Arctic nations, except Russia, are aligned in continued pursuit of peace and stability in the far north and around the world. I’m proud to represent one of the seven Arctic nations that supports productive collaboration and helps uphold a rules-based international order.”

At the SCPAR meeting, the Finnish Parliamentarian Mikko Kärnä underscored the significance of U.S. involvement in supporting Ukraine and how that had impacted the views of many in Finland about NATO engagement. Murkowski also shared with fellow parliamentarians the extent of U.S. support to Ukraine—unprecedented foreign aid, likely soon to total $54 billion with strong military support, economic aid, food, and refugee assistance. 

“As Finland moves in the process, Sweden continue to deliberate its position. I fully support Sweden’s right to decide its security arrangement. And if Sweden follows the same path as Finland, Swedes can expect an equally supportive response from the United States. When and if these NATO applications come before the United States Congress I will be leading the effort towards a swift approval,” said Senator Murkowski. “The United States stands behind its Nordic allies and partners. They will not back down or be intimidated by Russian aggression or rhetoric—now, or in the future.”